Agroforestry Benefits that Everyone should Know
Agroforestry benefits growth and innovation and has the potential to boost agriculture productivity, resilience, and diversity. While also repairing soil health, generating wildlife habitats, and sequestering carbon. However, science has recognized agroforestry benefits for long and well established in subtropical climes. Its popularity is roaring in many temperate regions worldwide. A recent study in the temperate regions of China, Australia, and Canada reveals this potential. We have mentioned a few of the innumerable agroforestry benefits in this post.
List of Agroforestry Benefits
Growing two crops on the same site, such as rows of fruit trees through arable crops or cattle and wood trees, can boost total yield and on-farm productivity. Farm enterprises can profit from agroforestry systems. The various benefits are such as increased pollinator habitat, shelter for livestock and crops to support improved growth, and various agricultural goods such as fruits, nuts, and lumber.
In some circumstances, productivity gains from agroforestry can be large, reaching up to 40%. Hens raised on terrain with 20% tree cover had greater laying rates and shell density, resulting in more yield, fewer seconds eggs, and lower losses. Agroforestry benefits can help farm enterprises become more robust and diverse by producing agricultural and wood products from the same land.
A farm’s walnut timber crop can be multifunctional, providing high-value nut crops and extra ecosystem services for several years before developing to provide a harvestable wood crop. Diversified cropping with agroforestry benefits agricultural enterprises’ function year-round and avoids seasonal demand peaks and valleys.
Agroforestry that is well-planned and uses appropriate tree species can help balance farm labour demands and provide a more diverse source of year-round income for farm enterprises and personnel. Furthermore, as a technology that allows numerous uses of a single site.
Addressing Climate Change
Compared to monocultures of crops or pasture, including trees on a large scale could significantly enhance the amount of carbon stored on farms. According to the Committee on Climate Change, converting 0.6 per cent of agricultural land area to agroforestry will considerably contribute to attaining the fifth carbon budget objective by 2030.
Agroforestry benefits soils from wind and water erosion because trees with extensive roots retain soil solid while supplying decaying leaf litter to increase soil organic matter.
Trees planted in agricultural areas have been shown to minimize soil erosion by up to 65 per cent. The UK government has pledged to support the “4 per 1000 program,” which aims to boost soil carbon stores by 0.4 per cent yearly.
Agroforestry benefits can significantly contribute to this goal. It is an important strategy for farming to reduce climate change and become more robust to extreme weather.
you can potentially use agroforestry to mitigate floods at a low cost. Trees placed carefully on farms can increase soil infiltration and water retention. It reduces the impact of flooding by increasing the land’s capacity to absorb water. Thus, agroforestry benefits the whole ecosystem.
You can meet these objectives through agroforestry without substantially influencing farm productivity. Trees can help reduce the impact of farming practices on watercourses.
Agroforestry benefits significantly from nitrate leaching into waterways. However, a recent evaluation of silvo-arable systems in temperate regions discovered that nitrate there was a decrease in leaching by 46% in Canada and 30% in France.
Agroforestry can be an important component in efficient nutrient cycling on farms, with deeper roots carrying nutrients from lower soil profiles. It results in boosting the availability and fertility in the upper soil layers.
Biodiversity and Landscape
Agroforestry benefits wildlife, having the potential to more than double normal biodiversity. It can provide the connectivity and food supplies for wildlife in cultivated habitats critical to meeting Biodiversity goals. Hedgerows span around 725,000 km of land in the UK and are vital to farming animals.
These hedgerow ecosystems have deteriorated dramatically in recent decades, and 84 species linked with hedgerows in the UK and worldwide are now designated endangered.
Trees in the cultivated landscape can contribute to the visual quality and fulfil public perception of high-quality land management. In addition to improving habitat variety and connectivity. Integrated approaches to land management are popular among the general public.
Agroforestry benefits can capitalize on public interest in “managed rural landscapes”. It can provide an “integrative strategy for landscape protection and management.”
Agroforestry benefits support farm animal welfare, and you can improve performance. Shelter from the wind, rain, and sun can improve the quality of life in cattle by increasing baby survival rates, reproductive capability, and milk output. Sheltered settings allow farmers to maintain cattle on the field in all weather conditions.
It helps in minimizing the need for animal house investment and offering a warmer maternity unit. Agroforestry benefits farmers by transitioning to hardier domestic animal breeds, which means more time on pasture for cattle better suited to withstand inclement weather.
The shelter given by hedgerows and tree belts raises soil temperature in early spring and late autumn, extending the grass-growing season. This is especially essential in upland livestock areas, as it reduces the requirement for an extra feed at a vital phase in the growth of young animals.
Tree leaves and bark can provide increased nutritional diversity, increase animal health, and potentially reduce antibiotic use in animal agriculture. Creating tree belts and high hedges around a farm might offer a sufficient biosecure barrier. There is also evidence that trees, in general, can act as a barrier against the passage of hazardous microorganisms like E. coli through groundwater; thus, agroforestry benefits animals on a large scale.
Other Agroforestry Benefits
Agroforestry benefits for Farmers, ranchers and landowners.
Agroforestry is a critical instrument for sustainable agricultural output. The approaches allow landowners, both large and small, to diversify their production systems. It helps them to become more profitable and reduce risk while also improving environmental stewardship. It also benefits neighbours and adjacent villages and towns.
Agroforestry benefits for towns, landscapes, and watersheds.
The system have the potential to provide jobs and boost economic well-being in rural communities. Agroforestry can help “reconnect” agriculture, people, and communities within a landscape, resulting in a more multifunctional and sustainable ecosystem. Agroforestry methods within a watershed can resemble a living patchwork quilt. The system connects headwater forests via agricultural lands to urban areas and onto the sea. It helps to provide cleaner water for communities.
(Also Read- What is biodynamic farming ?)
Agroforestry refers to farming systems incorporating trees or bushes alongside crops or livestock. Agroforestry benefits from a land management strategy if you effectively apply the system. This can boost farm output, increase wildlife, improve soil health and animal welfare. It also controls water flow, and help to mitigate climate change. The system encompasses both historical methods that you can see in various local systems. It includes English countryside, such as farm hedgerows, and newer inventive systems, such as silvoarable cropping. silvoarable cropping is a method of growing alleys of productive trees through arable land.