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Harvest of Tree Canopies Can Magnify Benefits of Silvopastures

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Silvopastoral models often address canopy closure over time by harvesting whole trees, yet regeneration requires expensive protection of saplings, or long periods of livestock exclusion.   Alternatively, branch harvest opens the canopy (Figure 1) with diminished need for tree replacement, while providing marketable wood products and nutritious fodder (Garmo 1999) more frequently.  

Alley Cropping with Specialty Crops Under Pine and Pecan Stands

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Agroforestry, an intentional integration, and management of trees, crops, and livestock in a single management unit, offers several environmental, economic, and social benefits.  Alley cropping is gaining importance as an alternative way to utilize the land and resources effectively and efficiently. Many crop species can increase the biomass produced, compared to the traditional monoculture, but the success of the system depends on the crop selection (Brooker et al. 2014). Well-managed agroforestry systems provide economic viability through regular, short-term income from crops and long-term income from trees (Wilson and Lovell 2016). The Southern United States has a large acreage of forested land, and many farms have a substantial acreage of forested land, a part of which is often cleared for monocropping with grain, fiber, and forage crops.  Therefore, there is much potential for practicing alley cropping on these farms.

Savanna Institute's Agroforestry Apprenticeship Program: Training the Next Generation of Agroforestry Farmers

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A critical barrier to successful agroforestry adoption and implementation by farmers is the lack of extensive training opportunities in agroforestry.  To meet this need, this season the Savanna Institute launches the first year of our Agroforestry Apprenticeship Program. Apprenticeships with on-farm training, while common for organic annual vegetable production, are nearly non-existent for agroforestry. This program is the first of its kind to provide on-farm training opportunities in agroforestry, where we connect the next generation of agroforestry farmers with seasoned mentors. Through on-farm training, online agroforestry coursework, and travel to other agroforestry farms throughout the Midwest, the apprenticeship program provides a multi-pronged approach to training agroforestry farmers that focuses on critical hands-on, in the field training, while also providing additional avenues for engaged learning.

The Agroforestry Podcast: A New Medium for Outreach

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The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA) seeks to reach farmers, landowners, and the many professionals and peers who support them, via education and outreach efforts that increase agroforestry adoption. Workshops, webinars, publications, and events all contribute to this goal. This year, UMCA expanded this menu of media with the launch of The Agroforestry Podcast.

Practical Applications of Eastern Hardwood Silvopasturing

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A tour of silvopasturing operations in South Central New York on September 12th and 13th, 2019 

This June marks the tenth anniversary of the first workshop on silvopasturing in New York.  The initial workshop was in response to sustained interest generated by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Goats in the Woods” project funded by NE SARE in the early 2000’s (Smallidge et al. 2004).  Since then, thousands have participated in over one hundred educational events around the Northeast on silvopasturing, including major conferences in 2011 and 2014 in New York. 

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