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Grazing sheep under walnut trees - Producing high quality timber whilst reducing costs

Why introduce livestock?

There is a high demand for hardwood timber, such as hybrid walnut, in the EU. To meet this demand, over the last decade, hardwood plantations have substantially increased production in many Spanish regions. Intensive management is often required to grow these trees in short rotations. Such management comprises irrigation, fertilisation, and chemical weed control. However, this level of management has high economic and environmental costs. Plantation management accounts for more than 45% of the total investment costs. Moreover, these operations can have major environmental impacts, similar to the effects of intensive agriculture systems.

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