Agroforestry

The educational materials listed on this page are about Agroforestry.

What is a practical agroforestry definition? How do you define agroforestry? What is agroforestry? These are common questions from farmers seeking to diversify their operations. The definition of agroforestry contains several pieces that are integral to the success of this type of farming. Agroforestry is an alternative farming system that integrates trees and shrubs with crops or livestock. An agroforestry system can create more diverse farms, ranches and communities. Different types of agroforestry can help farmers diversify both their farm products and their business income. An example of agroforestry practices is the practice of using trees that produce an annual fruit or nut crop but can also be grown for a future timber harvest. These are just a few of the benefits of agroforestry as a farming enterprise. Key practices include agroforestrypermacultureintegrated crop and livestock systemsnew enterprise developmentfruitnutsforest managementwindbreaksalley croppingforest farmingsilvopasture.

The Agroforestry brief sheet provides information for farmers looking to diversity their products and income. SARE’s book Building a Sustainable Business can aid producers in building a sustainable and profitable business plan for their new enterprise. For help with identifying funding for agroforestry ventures, Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities gives producers alternative ways to get their business up and running through innovative funding opportunities. Diversifying Cropping Systems is a bulletin that can be useful in identifying practices that enhance diversity on farms, including forest management practices.

Agroforestry an Alternative for Farmers Transitioning Away from Tobacco Production

BEREA, Kentucky – A Kentucky farmer, exploring alternatives for tobacco production, has found that elements of an agroforestry system may prove viable to increasing farm profitability and providing environmental benefits. Through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Producer Grant, Matthew Wilson of Rindlewood Farm studied the feasibility of incorporating sweet sorghum and pasture […]

Transforming Existing Forested Land into Silvopasture Systems

GREENVILLE, South Carolina – Livestock producers with patches of established forested land on their farm can turn to agroforestry practices as an option to increase economic stability while enhancing environmental quality. Researchers at Furman University, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) grant, studied the feasibility of transforming forested land on farms in […]

Some Invasive Trees are Good for Mushroom Production

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Some non-native invasive trees in the Southeast have proven to be ideal substrates for growing edible mushrooms, according to the results of a USDA Agricultural Research Service study funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant. USDA-ARS researcher Stephen Hight, in collaboration with small farmers in southern […]

Arkansas Study Finding Ways to Integrate Poultry with Pasture Species and Agroforestry Production

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas – With the right tools for alternative feeding systems and pasture enrichment, farmers can successfully incorporate poultry into free-range, multi-species pasture or agroforestry production, based on the results of a USDA-ARS Arkansas study. The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded project (LS10-226), “Integrating Free Range Poultry with Ruminant and Agroforestry Production in […]

Agroecosystems Economics in the Texas High Plains: A 10-year analysis, 1999-2008

Based on 10 years of Texas Tech University research, integrated cotton-forage-beef cattle systems are just as profitable as cotton monoculture systems. But there’s more. Integrated crop-livestock systems use less irrigation water, are more energy efficient, preserve soils by reducing wind erosion, and have a lower economic risk related to specific-loss events, such as a drought.

Establishing Cottonwood Plantations

A fact sheet on establishing cottonwoods as a bioenergy feedstock in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension.