USDA report highlights efforts to expand agroforestry practices

Published on Feedstuffs, Oct 28, 2013.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released the first-ever report on the agency’s role advancing agroforestry. Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America details how agroforestry practices are helping farmers, ranchers and woodland owners enhance agricultural productivity, protect the environment and increase profits.

“USDA has invested less than 1% of its budget into tree-based practices. Yet that small investment allows us to help create private goods and public services that reap great rewards, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and more resilient agricultural lands,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.   
“However, much work remains to promote and sustain agroforestry practices, which have great potential to promote economic growth and job creation in rural communities.”  Agroforestry is a management approach that intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create more sustainable land-use systems. Over the last five years, USDA has assisted landowners financially and with technical guidance to establish roughly 336,000 acres of windbreaks, riparian forest buffers and alley cropping, about 2,000 acres of silvopasture and about 500 acres of forest farming. Those acres represent less than 1% of the potentially suitable land for applying those practices, suggesting there is an opportunity to significantly expand the application of agroforestry in the U.S., USDA said … //

… (full text and links to related stories).

Links:

Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America, october 2013, 20 pdf pages;

Agroforestry pilot project launched, on Farmers Guardian, by Olivia Midgley, Oct 8, 2013: A PILOT project which aims to increase the amount of agroforestry has been given a €1m (£840,000) boost from the European Parliament …;

To fight climate change, Mindanao’s farmers look to agroforestry, on GMAnews/Philippines, by KIM LUCES, October 26, 2013;

NAC moots agro-forestry policy to counter climate change, on Deccan Herald/India, Oct. 16, 2013;

What is agroforestry and how can it benefit landowners and farmers? on Farm and Diary/US (Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia), Oct 23, 2013;

more on Agroforestry on Google News-search;

Trees provide a future for girls in Indian village, on World Agroforestry Centre, by Kate Langford, October 30, 2013: For every girl born into the village of Dharhara in northern India, at least 10 fruit trees (traditionally mango) are planted by the local community … // … The trees have also helped to build a sense of ownership among local girls, which according to NGO worker, Gul Afsan is rare among women of this region;

Global expo on solutions for the south from the south, on World Agroforestry Centre, by Kate Langford, October 28, 2013;

World Food Day (Oct 16), 2013: Agroforestry supports sustainable food systems, on World Agroforestry Centre, by Daisy Ouya, October 16, 2013;

Food and nutrition are inseparable from trees, Issue 22 (newsletter), July 2013;

Trees and food security in Africa; what’s the link? on World Agroforestry.org, by Daisy Ouya, July 4, 2013;

A pdf on/by FAO.org, 2013: Towards food security and improved nutrition: increasing the contribution of forests and trees;

World Agroforestry.org: Homepage, About us, Our research, Where we work, Our products, News, Transformations Online/archive for 4 newsletter/year, subscribe newsletter, Addresses and Contacts;

on Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO.org: Forests for Food Security and Nutrition, last update October 17, 2013; Key Issues, Publications, Videos;

on en.wikipedia:

  • Forest gardening is a low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans. Making use of companion planting, these can be intermixed to grow in a succession of layers, to build a woodland habitat. Forest gardening is a prehistoric method of securing food in tropical areas. In the 1960s, Robert Hart adapted the principles and applied them to temperate climates …: In tropical climates, In temperate climates, Projects, See also, External links;
  • Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land-use systems.[1] A narrow definition of agroforestry is “trees on farms”[2] …: Applications, See also, External links;
  • Agroecology is the study of ecological processes that operate in agricultural production systems. The prefix agro- refers to agriculture. Bringing ecological principles to bear in agroecosystems can suggest novel management approaches that would not otherwise be considered. The term is often used imprecisely and may refer to “a science, a movement, [or] a practice.”[1] Agroecologists study a variety of agroecosystems, and the field of agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, integrated, or conventional; intensive or extensive …: See also, External links.

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