Farm your forest? Here’s how!

Riparian (stream) buffer

Woodland owners across the Driftless are embracing a new trend: combining annual crop production with perennial cover like trees or shrubs, or agroforestry.

Benefits of agroforestry systems are vast: wildlife habitat, improved soil health, diversified income, cleaner water and air, and more!

Agroforestry can take many forms:

  • Alley cropping – vegetables grow between trees and shrubs
  • Forest farming – specialty crops grow under mature forest canopy
  • Riparian buffers – trees and shrubs grow adjacent to streams and wetlands to protect waterways
  • Silvopasture – trees, livestock and forages are managed together
  • Windbreaks – field windbreaks protect soil and improve crop yields

Sound interesting? Get the basics of agroforestry systems.