'Hedgriculture'

Discussion in 'Holistic Farming' started by Goldilocks, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Goldilocks

    Goldilocks Member

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Have thought up a new environmentally friendly farming system ,similar to Agroforestry but using hedges instead of trees.
    Plant lines of hedges in arable fields parallel to the tramlines and single or multiple tramline widths apart.
    E.g. In my 30m tramline system hedges would start and finish 30m from either field end so that the headland tramline would go around uninterrupted. Distance apart of hedge lines would be 30, 60 90 or 120 M depending on intensity of Hedgriculture required in the field.
    Advantages would be increased in-field diversity , Homes for beneficials, food for pollinators ( eg Blackthorn is good early season pollen for Bees ) extra carbon sequestration per unit land area, easy EFA solution now pulse crops no longer a sensible option, reduction in surface windspeed for more spraying days, reduction of evapotranspiration in dry times, reduction in field waterlogging/ surface erosion in wet times,
    In short all the benefits of Agroforestry but much less issues with crop shading and management of trees as most farms geared up for annual hedgetrim already.Also would not require such a massive mindset change as Agroforestry as not quite as drastic as planting trees in 'good arable fields'. Only disadvantage compared with Agroforestry is that there is no commercial return from Fruit, Nut or timber sales with Hedgriculture ( Although not really a disadvantage because the financial returns from Tree products in Agroforestry only really cancel out the annual crop yield reductions due to shading as the trees mature.)
    Whats not to like................
     
  2. DrWazzock

    DrWazzock Member

    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I'm quite partial to a blackberry out of the hedgerow now and again, but please God, no.

    Shade, water loss, sanctuary for weeds and rabbits, can only work the field parallel to the hedges, thorns in feet and tyres, cost of trimming.
     
    wr. and Bury the Trash like this.
  3. mo!

    mo! Member

    Location:
    York
    If your trimmer had a collector you could harvest the biomass. But no, don't be silly.
     
    wr. and Nick Adams like this.
  4. DrWazzock

    DrWazzock Member

    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    And with X compliance that's 4m lost in 30m.
     
    wr. likes this.

  5. Farming GB.....:rolleyes: ... FFS :banghead::banghead::cry:...
     
  6. PSQ

    PSQ Member


    This is known as the "Brazilian" system.

    - the cultivation of thin strips of bush.







    I'll get my coat....
     
    hendrebc, wr., Robert and 4 others like this.
  7. anzani

    anzani Member

    Theres your cash crop:
    "Pick-your-own blackberries @£3 per Kg" !!!
     
  8. Goldilocks

    Goldilocks Member

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Oh dear, no one is very enthusiastic.........and I was getting so excited last night!
    Where are all the sandal wearing,bearded, planet saving forum members to help me out?
     
  9. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    You rang?
    I have no beard :oops:
    There's a dairy farmer not far from here with hedges every 30 metres or so.. he says the soil is almost always quite a bit warmer, 2 or 3 degrees.. but that's loads of poplars so if it ever dried out he'd have stockfood :rolleyes:
    It is about mean sea level or a touch below.o_O
    It's fun trying to plough there :eek:
     
    S J H likes this.
  10. BigBarl

    BigBarl Member

    Location:
    South Notts
    I'm thinking of establishing one field of agroforestry next year, I was going to look at apple tress so there is a cash crop as well as all the economical benefits. I was thinking about berries, but blackberries grow like mad so don't fancy keeping on top of them!?
     
  11. onodle

    onodle New Member

    Here you go Goldilocks might be worth a watch - might give you some ideas. There are two possible ideas in the first 13min of the video which might offer what your looking for.

     
  12. S J H

    S J H Member

    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    I think @Kiwi Pete has spoken about it before, but there's an island near balclutha in nz that has paddocks with a conifer hedge, then fence then hedge, can't remember exactly the size but I reckoned about 8 acres each. It was to create a microclimate, but I've never been about to find out much more about it.
     
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  13. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Yep that's the place, or one of them, anyway.
    The wind screams across those flats though, the farm that I did the ploughing on has very long, narrow paddocks with the idea being it does funnel an air current along but greatly reduced the chill factor.
    It does seem to work for them pretty well, but you wouldn't want to cut much hay on it!
    Our old neighbour was the local head of the Farm Forestry association and planted his way out of a good farm, maintaining that constant airflow is key to keeping the paddock productive. He went from making hay with a Howard BigBaler to not even being able to get a cut of baleage off after 20 years.
    Between pine trees and deer it is now buggered.

    However, that is extreme, the microclimate idea can definitely work very well for extending a growing season if planned right (y)
     
    hendrebc and S J H like this.
  14. S J H

    S J H Member

    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    I graze an old orchard, and I'm sure it grows more than the rest of the ground. It's about 40' wife between 2 hedges, trouble with it is, sheep laying under the hedges and catching flies (n)
     
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  15. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    It will be the regular cultivation and fert that makes it grow more grass, I'm reliably informed!
    Never underestimate just how much effect symbiosis has on output, I'm sure it's the better fungal/bacterial ratio, more soil carbon, as much as the microclimatic benefits - up to a certain point anyway.
    Fruit trees can be really beneficial to the soil simply due to all the dropped fruit- all that sugar feeding the soil makes it hum.
    Shame it encourages flies and wasps too.
     
    S J H likes this.
  16. martian

    martian DD Moderator

    Location:
    N Herts
    Cooee...sorry, was wearing wellies and didn't hear the call.

    Think this is a brilliant idea, mulling over it today whilst watching the squirrels harvest all our hazelnuts before they are ripe. If you had a row of nuts in the middle of a field you could keep the little sods off, or even harvest the squirrels with a Jack Russell or two, and then harvest the hazelnuts. Or elderberries/elderflowers, crab-apples, brambles etc. I can see a Goldilocks Jam empire looming...

    Stick a strand of barbed wire up the middle of each hedge and your field is mob-grazing ready (sooo much more 21st Century than Roundup Ready). All the micro-climate benefits outlined above and also beetle refuges, mycorrhizal inoculants, deep nutrient scavenging by hedge roots, as you say, what's not to like?
     
    Barleycorn likes this.
  17. Circle nearly complete....
     
  18. mikep

    mikep Member

    What I don't get about agroforestry or such like is what happens in a few years time when your drains are all blocked.
    Grubbing a few trees is one thing but re draining is a hell of a price to pay.
    We have enough trouble with headland trees and hedge species invading the drains as it is.
     
    Richard III likes this.
  19. Goldilocks

    Goldilocks Member

    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Good point.Luckily something we do not have to worry about on our chalks but I guess Agroforestry is ruled out on underdrained land.
     
  20. BigBarl

    BigBarl Member

    Location:
    South Notts
    The reason I'm looking at agroforestry is to give a draining effect on some poor performing recently reclaimed land. We don't want to land drain it as the land is still settling so agroforestry seems a good option to get rid of some unwanted water. There is a lot of evidence to show that with good management (subsoiling deep near the roots) that the tree roots are forced down rather than out.
     

Share This Page