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AGFORWARD News: Nov 2014
Agroforestry for Europe
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In this Newsletter:

Introduction

Participatory Research and Development

WP2: Agroforestry Systems of High Nature and Cultural Value

Spain: dehesa farms

Portugal: montado

Greece: valonia oak systems

Sardinia: grazed oak woodlands

UK: wood pasture and parkland

WP3: Agroforestry for High Value Tree Systems

Italy: intercropping olive orchards

Greece: intercropping olive groves

Spain: grazing and intercropping plantation trees

UK: grazed orchards

WP4: Agroforestry for Arable Systems

Italy: timber trees and arable crops

Greece: trees, crops and grassland

Germany: alley cropping systems

WP5: Agroforestry for Livestock Systems

Netherlands: poultry systems

UK: poultry systems

Denmark: pigs and energy crops

Netherlands: fodder trees

Facebook

Twitter

Contact Details

Subscription Details


Introduction

The AGFORWARD research project (2014-2017), sponsored by the European Union FP7 programme, is promoting agroforestry practices in Europe that will advance rural development. A key part of the project (covering work-packages 2 to 5) is the creation of participatory research and development networks across Europe. Within these networks, project partners are working with stakeholder groups to identify, develop and field-test innovations to improve the benefits and viability of agroforestry. To date we have engaged with over 310 farmers and other stakeholders. This newsletter provides links to the outcomes of 16 initial workshops.

The final section of the newsletter describes the new facebook and twitter links that we have created. I hope that they stimulate dialogue and debate and help promote appropriate agroforestry practices and innovations.

With best wishes

Paul Burgess
Project Co-ordinator


Participatory Research and Development

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In AGFORWARD, we are focusing on the application of agroforestry in four sectors. Each sector is being managed as an individual work-package. The four sectors are: i) existing agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value, ii) systems focused on high value trees such as olive groves and fruit orchards, and the integration of trees in iii) arable, and iv) livestock systems.

Within each sector we are seeking to establish a participatory research and development network of stakeholder groups. Each report below includes a stakeholder assessment of the positive and negative aspects of each system, the key issues and challenges, and potential areas for research during the next three years.


WP2: Agroforestry Systems of High Nature and Cultural Value

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These systems often comprise semi-natural systems where cultivation and/or grazing is practised among deliberately retained trees. Prominent examples include the Dehesa and Montado systems in Spain and Portugal, grazed oak woodlands in Sardinia, and the Valonia oak systems in Greece. Examples of high natural and cultural value in Northern Europe include wood pastures in Scandinavia, Germany, and the UK. Other examples include cattle grazing in trans-Danubian wooded meadows.

Initial stakeholder reports from five stakeholder groups are now available on the AGFORWARD website.



Spain: dehesa farms

The initial meeting in May 2014 was attended by more than 90 stakeholders. Dehesa is an agrosilvopastoral system formed from the clearing of evergreen woodlands where trees, native grasses, crops, and livestock interact positively under management.


READ MORE


Portugal: montado

In Portugal, the main agroforestry system is a traditional system called Montado. It is characterized by low density trees combined with agriculture or pastoral activities. The initial meeting, in July 2014, was attended by 22 stakeholders.


READ MORE


Greece: valonia oak systems

In parts of Western Greece, livestock farmers use the valonia oak forest for grazing and acorns. The initial meeting in July 2014 was attended by 25 stakeholders.


READ MORE


Sardinia: grazed oak woodlands

Much of the Sardinian rural landscape is characterised by a mosaic of agroforestry systems including grazed forests and wooded grasslands. The meeting in July 2014 was attended by 15 stakeholders.


READ MORE


UK: wood pasture and parkland

Wood pasture and parkland is an example of a "high natural and cultural value" agroforestry system in the UK. An initial meeting with seven stakeholders highlighted the use of "invisible fencing" to control the movement of livestock in areas with open public access.


READ MORE


WP3: Agroforestry for High Value Tree Systems

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This second participatory research and development network focuses on agroforestry for high value tree systems including olive trees, fruit trees, and trees grown for high value timber. To date, initial stakeholder meetings have been held in Italy, Greece, Spain, and the UK.


Italy: intercropping olive orchards

Over one million ha of olive orchards risk abandonment in Italy. The first meeting of the stakeholder group on 27 June 2014 was attended by 21 people.


READ MORE


Greece: intercropping olive groves

The combination of olive orchards with arable crops in the same field is a traditional land use system in Central Greece. Two stakeholder meetings were held in Greece in June 2014.


READ MORE


Spain: grazing and intercropping plantation trees

New agroforestry practices, based on the grazing and intercropping of plantations of quality timber trees such as cherry and walnut are developing on agricultural land in Spain.


READ MORE


UK: grazed orchards

In England and Wales, there are about 7000 hectares of commercial cider orchards; approximately a quarter are 'traditional orchards' and three-quarters are 'bush orchards'. Using sheep to graze the grass beneath the canopies can reduce mowing costs and provide an additional income. The initial meeting was attended by 14 stakeholders.


READ MORE


WP4: Agroforestry for Arable Systems

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Arable agriculture is the dominant land use in many parts of Europe. The maintenance of crop yields in response to climate change and maintaining soil and water quality are some of the issues affecting arable crop production. The judicious introduction and management of woody plants can be one way of addressing these issues. Initial stakeholder meetings have been held in Italy, Greece, and Germany. A report will also soon appear for the first meeting in France.


Italy: timber trees and arable crops

The Po river region in the Veneto Region of North Eastern Italy is characterised by intensive agriculture. This system focuses on the growing of trees (poplar and oak, both for timber) alongside and in mixture with cereals and other rotational arable crops.


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Greece: trees, crops and grassland

Agroforestry is a traditional land use system in Voio in Northern Greece where farmers have traditionally integrated arable production with tree species. Arable fields containing field beans, cereals and grassland are bordered by walnut trees and fast growing poplars. The initial meeting in July was attended by 14 stakeholders.


READ MORE


Germany: alley cropping systems

In Germany, alley cropping systems for woody biomass production are receiving increasing interest due to the potential to produce biomass and agricultural crops at the same time. The initial meeting in August 2014 was attended by 18 stakeholders.


READ MORE


WP5: Agroforestry for Livestock Systems

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This participatory research and development network is focusing on the benefits of agroforestry within livestock systems in relation to the i) poultry, ii) pig, and iii) ruminant sectors. Initial stakeholder meetings have been held in the Netherlands, the UK, and Denmark. Other groups are planned in Spain, France, and Italy.


Netherlands: poultry systems

There are approximately 2,300 hectares used for free-range poultry in the Netherlands. However it is only recently that farmers have looked at combinations of poultry with trees. Two initial stakeholder meetings have been held.


READ MORE


UK: poultry systems

In the UK, eggs produced by hens with access to areas of trees are marketed as “woodland eggs”. There is also interest in using trees when rearing poultry for meat. Two initial meetings were attended by 28 stakeholders.


READ MORE


Denmark: pigs and energy crops

A few organic pig producers in Denmark have established energy crops (willow and poplar) in paddocks for lactating sows.


READ MORE


Netherlands: fodder trees

Dairy cow and goat farmers in the Duinboeren region of the Netherlands have planted fodder trees on their farms.


READ MORE


Facebook

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AGFORWARD has a new and growing Facebook community with around 300 likes since its creation on 20 October. A number of interesting web links and videos have already been posted, as well as project related information. Please do link to the AGFORWARD Facebook page.


READ MORE


Twitter

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You can also now get updates relating to the project on the twittersphere: @AGFORWARD_EU

We hope that Twitter will provide the project with another means of spreading the word about agroforestry.


Contact Details

Paul Burgess, AGFORWARD Project Co-ordinator, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK ([log in to unmask])

Kenisha Garnett, AGFORWARD Project Administrator, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK ([log in to unmask])

Anja Chalmin, European Agroforestry Federation AGFORWARD contact ([log in to unmask])

Fabien Liagre, Leader of the AGFORWARD Dissemination work-package ([log in to unmask])


www.agforward.eu



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AGFORWARD (Grant Agreement N° 613520) is co-funded by the European Commission, Directorate General for Research & Innovation, within the 7th Framework Programme of RTD. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are purely those of the writers and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission.