Question: What's stopping more farmers practicing silvoarable/agroforestry?

IFarmers

Member
Trade
Soil Association recently released this film on the benefits of agroforestry and the stories of farmers who practice it:

But it'd be good to hear from farmers who've tried, or want to try, but are having trouble making it work for their business. Also be good to hear some success stories too!
 

Y Fan Wen

Member
Location
N W Snowdonia
You got the spelling wrong, it should be aggroforestry! Tried it and it is a complete pain in the hills. The only success we've had is alder on damp patches. Bangor Uni. tried it out on a field in Anglesey. I visited it the year after planting and went back a few years later to see how it was. There were no trees there. I made enquiries and found they just didn't grow and it was abandoned in the end. Grass competition was the verdict.
 

Hobbit

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
South West
Really like the idea. Hope to try a field in the next five years. What I struggle with is what to do with the fruit. It’s a new market place to try and understand. This is always a limiting factor for me personally but one that others seem to conquer quite easily. It’s the same as trying to reintroduce livestock back onto the farm. Only ever know arable but now time are a changing, and for the best.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
The combine spout/mirrors/beacon/grain tank lid/chimney/ gets caught in the branches and can do serious expensive damage. Branches fall off into the crop and end up jammed under the auger or clattering about in the drum.
Trees belong in woods. A royal pain in fields.
Even our field edge trees keep us busy enough trimming low hanging branches etc. And other than the firewood it feels like a few days of wasted diesel and effort, risking your life in a man basket with the chainsaw.
But if you can make it work go for it.
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
Really like the idea. Hope to try a field in the next five years. What I struggle with is what to do with the fruit. It’s a new market place to try and understand. This is always a limiting factor for me personally but one that others seem to conquer quite easily. It’s the same as trying to reintroduce livestock back onto the farm. Only ever know arable but now time are a changing, and for the best.
[/QUOTE
What type of field are you going to try? Have you decided what species? Have you worked out financials or is it more of a ecosystem based decision? Only asking because these are all questions I am mulling over myself.

Sorry, for some reason I have cocked up this post
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
Soil Association recently released this film on the benefits of agroforestry and the stories of farmers who practice it:

But it'd be good to hear from farmers who've tried, or want to try, but are having trouble making it work for their business. Also be good to hear some success stories too!

i would love to do it

what stopping me ? a viable and consistent market from the trees that doesn’t add loads of complexity to a business i’ve tried to simplify as much as possible to maintain viability
 
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Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
Once these are planted can they ever be removed , it’s virtually impossible to get woodland removed once in for normal tree species
Well they don't seem to have any trouble cutting down bat willows or spruce plantations or grubbing up orchards. Suspect commercial planting may have a different set of rules possibly.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Well they don't seem to have any trouble cutting down bat willows or spruce plantations or grubbing up orchards. Suspect commercial planting may have a different set of rules possibly.

Its not the felling thats the problem, its the requirement to replant. Felling any amount of trees requires a felling licence and that will always contain the condition that the trees are replanted. Fruit trees are the only exemption from this, you can grub out orchards, presumably on the grounds they are a food production system, not timber or amenity. Thus in the UK land planted with trees (other than fruit trees) becomes de facto trees forever, as you will never be allowed to fell them without agreeing to replant anew.
 

Goldilocks

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Oxfordshire
Have been trying to set up a wide spaced agroforestry trial for about 5 years but estate owner doesnt want trees planted in the middle of an arable field so a no go.
However, how about rows of hedges or willow or hazel coppice ( have posted about this before ; have called it Hedgriculture )
Much more manageable than trees and fantastic extra biodiversity and carbon sequestration added to cropping fields. ( Especially if getting extra environmental payments )
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
Have been trying to set up a wide spaced agroforestry trial for about 5 years but estate owner doesnt want trees planted in the middle of an arable field so a no go.
However, how about rows of hedges or willow or hazel coppice ( have posted about this before ; have called it Hedgriculture )
Much more manageable than trees and fantastic extra biodiversity and carbon sequestration added to cropping fields. ( Especially if getting extra environmental payments )
A variation on that theme is to stop trimming hedges and coppice say a tenth every 10 years or a fithteenth every 15.

You take out the firewood, chip the brush for added carbon and save on hedge trimming. Plus you get 15 different stages of maturity for bio diversity.
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
A variation on that theme is to stop trimming hedges and coppice say a tenth every 10 years or a fithteenth every 15.

You take out the firewood, chip the brush for added carbon and save on hedge trimming. Plus you get 15 different stages of maturity for bio diversity.
Also make biochar from the chipping. Got to be better than just filling ditches up with crap every few years
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Have been trying to set up a wide spaced agroforestry trial for about 5 years but estate owner doesnt want trees planted in the middle of an arable field so a no go.
However, how about rows of hedges or willow or hazel coppice ( have posted about this before ; have called it Hedgriculture )
Much more manageable than trees and fantastic extra biodiversity and carbon sequestration added to cropping fields. ( Especially if getting extra environmental payments )

I am not surprised.... What does it bring to HIS party? Short, or long term?
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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