Why are we focusing on these agroforestry crops?

by | Oct 5, 2023 | Tree Crops

In a recent webinar, plant scientist Eliza Greenman briefly explained how the Savanna Institute has chosen which key crops to focus its plant breeding and improvement work on:

American Persimmon

  • Most nutrient-dense native fruit in the US
  • Canopy density allows for adequate light transmission for pasture growth
  • High value wood
  • Existing markets in the Midwst for “persimmon pudding”



Hybrid Hazelnuts

  • Existing speciality markets
  • Biodiesel alternative to soy
  • Hazelnut meal is an excellent commodity livestock feed
  • Hedgerow plantings are machine harvestable



American elderberry

  • Existing US market demand
  • All selections are from the wild
  • Bushes can be annually coppiced
  • Can be cold-pressed



Black currant

  • Cold hardy
  • Shade tolerant
  • Existing US market demand
  • Machine harvestable
  • Excels in poor soils



Chinese chestnut

  • Resistant to chestnut blight and ink disease
  • High carbohydrate food source
  • Existing demand exceeidng supply
  • Seedlings out-perform grafted trees
  • Late blooming, escaping frost

Visit Canopy Farm Management to learn more about what black currant varieties and other agroforestry crops and services are available in your area.

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