Objective 3 of the AGFORWARD project is to evaluate and develop innovative and better-adapted agroforestry designs and practices. This will be undertaken at a farm- and field-scale (work-package 6), and at a landscape-scale (work-package 7), in order to demonstrate the potential impact of the agroforestry innovations identified by the farmer networks and existing research.

A distinguishing feature of agroforestry practices and systems is that there is a wide range of possible tree, crop and livestock arrangements which cannot be simply addressed by experimentation within the constraints of a four-year project. Hence the adaptation and evaluation of the long-term implications of some agroforestry practices are most effectively achieved through the use of models. The agroforestry models include those that describe the biophysical interactions between trees and crops (for example Yield-SAFE and Hi-sAFe) and those that allow assessment of the financial and economic implications (for example Farm-SAFE).

The planned milestones, deliverablesand other outputs from work-package 6 include:

  • A project database of pan-European simulated climate data which will be used with the models (report now available).
  • Identification of the agroforestry systems and innovations to model (report now available).
  • A database describing the agroforestry systems to be modelled (report now available).
  • The improvement of Yield-SAFE, which is “parameter-sparse” daily time-step model which can describe the interactions between trees and crop in terms of competition for solar radiation and water (report now available).
  • The development of the Farm-SAFE model which allows economic comparisons of agroforestry, agriculture and forestry on different sections of a farm (model now available).
  • The improvement of Hi-sAFe, which is a detailed 3-D model of tree-crop interactions (report now available).
  • The development of Forage-SAFE to investigate the management and economics of wood pasture systems (model now available)
  • A mid-project report on the initial results from modelling at a field-scale (report now available).
  • A follow-up report describing the modelling results at a field- and farm-scale.
  • An end-of-project report that uses modelled results to explain the need, or otherwise, for external payments to support agroforestry.
  • The above milestones and deliverables will be made available during the course of the project.