Grazing and intercropping of plantation trees in Spain

Description of system

Olive, almond and carob orchards in Spain were traditionally either grazed or intercropped. However, these traditional agroforestry systems have become marginal and new agroforestry practices, based on plantations of quality timber trees such as cherry and walnuts on agricultural land are developing. These are often managed with high levels of inputs. The adoption of grazing and intercropping in such systems has the potential to create economic and environmental benefits. However, there generally is a lack of knowledge and information on appropriate agroforestry management practices and the benefits, what is constraining the adoption of agroforestry schemes to manage these new afforested farmlands.

Initial stakeholder meeting

The initial stakeholder meeting was held on 30 May 2014. The stakeholders perceived positive environmental, animal health and welfare benefits, and tree survival from grazing and intercropping plantations. By contrast, respondents had negative perceptions regarding management, economics, and the administrative burden. Potential research themes included the bio-economic consequence of grazing high quality timber plantations; the use of legumes; pollarding practice; selection of shade-adapted cereal, legume, and grass species and cultivars; and the response of cereal crops to neighbouring trees.
If you would like to know about the activity of this group, please contact Gerardo Moreno, University of Extermadura, Spain.

Download the initial stakeholder report

Download the initial research and development protocol

This stakeholder group has developed two research and development protocols.  The first is focused on the use of grazing and legumes in walnut plantations; the second is focused on the pollarding of wild cherry.

Download the system description

A research update on the use of grazing and legumes in walnut plantations was produced in September 2015.

Download the innovation leaflets

16_Grazing_sheep_under_walnut_trees.pdf (548.3 KiB)