Agroforestry Innovations to be examined for High Value Tree Systems

During 2014, a participative research and development network was established to focus on European agroforestry systems for apple orchards, olive and citrus groves, and high value chestnut and walnut trees. In total, ten stakeholder meetings were held. Each group sought to identify the key opportunities, constraints and innovations to promote grazing or intercropping in their systems. During December 2014 and January 2015, the facilitators of these groups synthesised their results to identify key areas on which to focus research and development during the remainder of the AGFORWARD project.

Three of the stakeholder groups will be focusing on the use of sheep in apple orchards in France and the UK. Identified research topics include the creation of grazing management guidelines, the effect of grazing of the lower leaves on apple production, the development of a bio-economic model, and the impact of reduced leaf litter on apple scab infection.

Four of the stakeholder groups are focusing on the intercropping and grazing of olive or citrus groves in Greece and Italy. Identified research topics include the interactions between olive trees and wheat compared to non-intercropped olives, best practices for growing wild asparagus and rearing poultry within olive groves, and the use of aromatic or leguminous intercrops.

Three of the stakeholder groups are working with walnut or chestnut, either in Greece or in Spain. Identified innovations include the use of legumes or aromatic species, and the use of sheep with walnut in Spain. The use of grafted plants of selected varieties of chestnut and techniques to increase mushroom production are also of interest in Spain.

Pantera A, Burgess PJ, Corroyer N, Ferreiro-Domínguez N, Fernández Lorenzo JL, González-Hernández P, Graves AR, McAdam J, Moreno G, Mosquera Losada MR, Rigueiro Rodríguez A, Rosati A, Upson M (2015). Innovations to be examined for Agroforestry for High Value Tree Systems. Milestone 3.2 (MS 9) for EU FP7 Research Project: AGFORWARD 613520. 14 pp.

For further information on this work, please contact Anastasia Pantera: