Factsheets

 

01 Do hedges help control pests and diseases  in vineyards?

The grapevine moth causes important losses to vineyard owners: the larvae perforate the grapes and help spread diseases. By doing so, they reduce the yield, but also increase the likeliness of grey mould ("Botrytis cinerea") and acid mould (flies).

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02 Mushroom cultivation

For many of the more than 600 thousand private forest owners in Finland, forestry is an additional source of income. However, the income generated from harvesting smalldiameter trees during thinning is quite low and amounts to just a couple of euros per tree. Active mushroom cultivation in forests can markedly increase the earnings from forests. 

 

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03 Walnut trees ("Juglans regia") in agroforestry systems

Walnut trees ("Juglans regia") are being cultivated in large parts of Europe. They are known to be trees with a high market potential. Their nutritious nuts and good quality timber are highly valued and the market demand is correspondingly high.  Southern European and EU Mediterranean countries are leaders in the European market, while the US and China are the most important global players. Commercial walnut cultivation is still rare in Flanders and almost all nuts are imported.

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04 Implementing sweet chestnut trees in Belgian agroforestry systems

Chestnut trees have been cultivated for centuries in Europe for their nuts and/or timber. Mountainous countries in the South are traditionally the largest producers of chestnuts in Europe. Although remaining a marginal crop, healthy chestnut industries are recently expanding over less rugged terrain.

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05 Rainwater harvesting in mediterranean silvopastoral systems

In dry areas such as the ones found in the Mediterranean region, water availability is a critical issue that requires the promotion of sustainable management practices and tools. These issues are even more relevant under current climate change scenarios.

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06 Shelterbelts and windbreaks: principles for installation

Wind can affect crops and animals, by directly or indirectly acting on mechanical or physiological processes related to microclimate and soil. There are several tree elements that, when correctly planed, allow the reduction of these effects. At the landscape level, most of the time they are used in combination with each other to reduce wind damage.

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07 Agroforestry contributes to circular bioeconomy

Economic growth has usually been at the expense of the environment. The need to change our development to a more sustainable economic model, makes bioeconomy to be part of the solution to address some of the most eminent European and global challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, forest fires, the ocean plastic…

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08 Using olive leaves by-products in grazed orchards

Olive leaves are fibrous with a low digestibility, especially in crude protein, and they promote very poor rumen fermentation. However, if adequately supplemented, they may be successfully used in animal diets mostly fresh when the nutritive value of olive tree leaves is greater.

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09 New bio-products and innovative value chain from olive processing

Traditional olive orchards account for a large share of the area under olives in the EU, particularly in marginal areas. Traditional olive growing can survive only by improving olive farmer incomes and recognizing its multifunctional role.

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10 Managing the tree row understorey in agroforestry systems

In a silvoarable agroforestry field, there is always a certain area under the tree canopies (e.g. strips of land under the tree rows in alley cropping systems), where it is difficult to cultivate the main crop. We call that the tree row understorey here. However, these areas can have several important functions: (i) tree protection against possible damage through e.g. agricultural vehicles, (ii) giving access to the tree row for tree maintenance or fruit harvest, (iii) a range of ecological aspects like habitat function and food provision for beneficial biodiversity.

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11 Alley cropping diversifies your farm and improves the environment

Alley cropping, or planting woody perennials rows in arable or vegetable fields, is an innovative idea worthy of exploration by farmers seeking both an additional long term income, rather than income based solely on annual production, and to increase the environmental resilience of their system.

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12 Browse, preserved tree fodder and nutrition

In general, browse (i.e. fresh tree leaves and small branches) and tree fodder (preserved browse) are good sources of nutrition and compare favourably with grasses grown in the same environment. Trees are also a good source of micronutrients including vitamins and particularly minerals.

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13 Trees for shade, shelter, survival and body maintenance

The benefits of silvopasture to domestic animals include access to shelter in the winter and shade in the summer, as well as providing scratching posts to maintain coat condition. The behaviour of domestic animals can be grouped into the categories of locomotion, maternal, nutritional, reproductive, social and resting behaviours and access to trees can be of some benefit to them all.

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14 Productive use of the tree row understorey

Planting trees into arable or vegetable fields means that land is taken out of annual production; depending on the design of the system, this could be up to 25% of the cropping area. 

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15 Agroforestry and agricultural policy definitions

Agroforestry has been recognized by international organisms (FAO, UN, EU) as a sustainable land management system, that is not extensively used in temperate areas. One of the main reasons for this fact is the lack of knowledge of agroforestry by different types of stakeholders such as policy makers, farmers and general public.

 

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16 Importance of browsing on shrubs

European heathlands are usually linked to land use practices as cutting, burning and grazing, and are supported by the EU within the high nature value farming framework. Nonetheless, the rural depopulation and abandonment of management practices contribute to large accumulations of highly flammable phytomass in heathlands and other shrublands of the Atlantic area of EU, thus being more susceptible to wildfires.

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17 SIlvopasture

Silvopasture represents the 85% of the agroforestry practices in Europe, being the most extended among other agroforestry practices (silvoarable, riparian buffer strips, forest farming and homegardens). Silvopasture is a practice that can be associated to sustainable grassland management mainly located in the South and North of Europe, that provides enormous advantages to reduce livestock production costs.

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18 Managing hedges for firewood production

Ross Dickinson, a commercial farmer and wood fuel supplier and merchant in Dorset, explains “I changed the management of one of my hedges from trimming it every year to letting it grow and coppicing once every 15 years.  Taking into account the savings on trimming costs, I was able to return a good profit - enough to keep someone employed”.

 

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19 Collaboration for successful agroforestry systems

Most existing agroforestry systems on UK farms have been established by the farmer who is also the landowner or tenant. However, many famers lack both the time and the specialist knowledge to plant and care for trees and the capital to invest.

 

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