From the trees of the tropics, the Landscapes Blog has headed to higher latitudes of the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agroforestry Center (USDA NAC) recently issued a practical guide on agroforestry for landowners, farmers, and ranchers. Its primary goal is to “assist farmers and woodland owners establish, manage and market agroforestry projects that are diverse, integrated, profitable, healthy and sustainable.” To accomplish this, the guide provides information to resource-constrained landowners on cost-effective ways to integrate trees into working lands – through the use of riparian buffers, silvopasture, windbreaks, and the like.
With case examples of each highlighted practice, the guide is a tangible tool for the technical design elements related to trees in an integrated agricultural landscape. More importantly, it also emphasizes how employing agroforestry can provide multiple benefits, both ecological and economic. While specifically targeted to the Southeastern United States, and technical and financial resources available to landowners there, the techniques presented in the guide are applicable to a wide range of geographic contexts. Learn more about the work of the USDA NAC.