What is Agroforestry?

stackedwoodAgroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems.

Agroforestry systems emphasize a mix of trees or shrubs that are intentionally used in conjunction with agricultural or non-timber production systems. Knowledge, careful selection of species and good management of trees and crops are needed to optimize the production and positive effects within the system and to minimize negative competitive effects. Agroforestry systems typically prioritize sustainability and the attainment of balance – balance between increasing societal demand for forest products and benefits, opportunities for income generation, and the preservation of forest and agroforest health and diversity.

Agroforestry practices include:

  • Alley Cropping – growing hardwoods and nuts alternatively with agricultural crops.
  • Forest Farming – growing crops such as ginseng, ferns and edible mushrooms under a forest canopy.
  • Riparian Forest Buffers – managing belts of trees and shrubs in areas bordering lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands, to enhance and protect aquatic and streamside resources.
  • Silvopasture – incorporating forage for livestock production into woodland management.
  • Windbreaks – employing tree and shrub species to protect farm sites, residences or other infrastructure from wind and snow impacts.
  • Special Applications – utilizing forest-related practices that focus on goals, including wildlife habitat enhancement and carbon storage optimization.

Agroforestry Practices Short Presentations for public use can be found at “Powerpoint presentations by topic”