Breakout Session B
Estimating carbon sequestration potential of windbreaks: scaling up from the farm to statewide estimates
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Agroforestry practices can play an important role in sequestering carbon. These systems offer two advantages for storing carbon in agricultural landscapes: 1) they offer high carbon storage capacity on a compact footprint while enhancing adjacent land practices, and 2) carbon is sequestered for a longer period of time compared to surrounding land uses, such as annually-harvested crops or grasslands. However, there are several well-documented challenges when it comes to estimating the amount of carbon sequestered by agroforestry, one of which is an insufficiency of data on the location and extent of these practices. Map products created via a partnership between the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program and the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) offer a partial solution by providing high-resolution datasets of one of the more common agroforestry practices in the central United States: windbreaks. These spatially detailed datasets have been produced for the states of Nebraska and Kansas. We investigate the use of readily-available online tools and published reports to produce baseline first-order estimates of carbon sequestered by windbreaks that can be scaled up from individual windbreaks on a farm to the county-, and then the state-level. Results are compared to carbon sequestered by forest land in the same states. Differences among carbon estimates are discussed, and county- and state-level results are presented.
Dacia Meneguzzo, USDA Forest Service
Todd Kellerman, USDA National Agroforestry Center
Greg Liknes, USDA Forest Service
Interspecific Interactions in Vineyard Agroforestry Systems
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Agroforestry is a sustainable land use system with proven benefits in vineyards, including increased climate resilience, improved pest management, improved soil fertility, and enhanced ecosystem benefits. Previous studies on vineyard agroforestry systems have focused on Mediterranean climate regions, but the purpose of this study was to quantify the interspecific interactions between trees and grapevines in a semi-arid and irrigated grape growing region of Argentina. The study took place in an eight year old Malbec vineyard intercropped with alleys of 70 year-old olive trees. Grape quality, growth, and production parameters were examined at five different distances from an olive tree hedgerow. Results revealed that proximity of grapevines to the hedgerow was associated with significantly higher quality must, including higher glucose/fructose levels, higher brix levels, higher must density, and higher total acidity. However, proximity of grapevines to the hedgerow was also associated with significantly lower yield, with yield reductions up to 50% in vines closest to the hedgerow. To investigate the potential causes of variance among these variables, nutritional analyses were undergone by examining vine tissue during the period of flowering, in order to determine whether the variation observed was due to competition for nutrients. Results revealed that there were no significant differences in nutrient status between treatments, indicating that competition for nutrients was not the limiting factor. The results of this study broaden our understanding of vineyard agroforestry systems in different growing contexts, and can help determine under which conditions it should be utilized as an appropriate technology. We observed that in semi-arid regions with the tree-crop combination of olives and grapevines, the presence of trees was correlated with higher must quality but lower yields. Depending on winemaker goals, the beneficial effects that trees have on grape must quality parameters and whole-farm ecosystem services may outweigh the negative effects that trees have on yield parameters. This may be especially true in the face of climate change in the coming years, when trees’ capacity for buffering temperature will be more important than ever.
Katherine Favor, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist | National Center for Appropriate Technology
Survey of Missouri Farmers to explore the potential of woody perennials to integrate conservation and production
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Agroforestry plantings can provide multiple benefits such as reduced soil erosion, decreased nutrient runoff, increased biodiversity, and greater farm income stability. This array of benefits makes them a promising ecological-based model for agricultural production that simultaneously achieves conservation goals. Missouri offers a unique opportunity for tree planting under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) fund pool dedicated to agroforestry and woody crop establishment, in addition to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Despite the benefits these programs can provide, many landowners are hesitant to enroll and take land out of agricultural production. This study explores the potential to use food producing tree and shrub species, and/or incorporating cultural benefits like recreation and improved visual quality of the landscape, to increase the likelihood landowners would commit to a conservation program. To understand landowning farmers’ perspectives on this topic, surveys were conducted to collect data on their farm characteristics, production processes, and land management choices. Farmers were sampled on a county basis using a stratification process where each county was sorted into an urban or rural category within each of the six geographic regions of the state. From these strata, twelve counties were randomly selected, and a proportional sampling of farm addresses gathered from the county tax assessor offices were included in the survey mailing lists. The goal of the survey was to 1) identify farmer’s current land management practices and goals, 2) understand farmer’s perceptions of and preferences for different planting plans for their farm, 3) capture farmer’s interest in participating in conservation programs to assist in the planting of trees and shrubs on their land. Survey responses provide a greater understanding of the types of planting designs farmers are interested in and how they relate to land management goals. The results can be used to draw conclusions on the potential to further integrate agroforestry plantings into established conservation programs and how this may increase farmer participation in these conservation initiatives.
Raelin Kronenberg, University of Missouri, Center for Agroforestry
Dr. Sarah Lovell, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry
Building An Agroforestry Demonstration Farm Network for Education, Inspiration and Movement Building
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The Savanna Institute Agroforestry Demonstration Farm Network was launched in 2018 with the multi-functional goals of increasing on-the-ground research in production systems, showcasing how farmers, landowners and communities can incorporate trees and perennial plantings into just, regenerative futures, and training the next generation of practitioners. In Spring 2020, as the world began to shut down, the Savanna Institute and its community partners established three demonstration farms across the state of Illinois. This session/poster will focus on celebrations of success and lessons learned through intentional partnership building, innovative land access and management, and the perennial struggles of time, labor, and capacity.
Kaitie Adams, IL Farm Manager, Savanna Institute