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Missouri Farmers Invited to Apply for Agroforestry Incentive Funds
Missouri Ag Connection - 12/08/2023

Eligible producers are invited to apply to the the Expanding Agroforestry Incentive Payment Program. Over five years, the program will pay producers $36 million to transform 30,000 acres spanning 30 states into agroforestry systems.

The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri(opens in new window) will oversee applications and provide technical assistance for producers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, said Ben Knapp(opens in new window), interim director of the Center for Agroforestry. The project is led by The Nature Conservancy(opens in new window).

“There is growing interest in agroforestry among farmers and producers in the Midwest region, motivated by increased profitability, diversified production and a wide range of environmental benefits,” Knapp said. “The Expanding Agroforestry Project will be a catalyst to adoption by reducing barriers and providing technical assistance for long-term success.”

The deadline to apply for the first enrollment cycle in the Lower Midwest region, which includes Missouri, is Dec. 15. The next application cycle will begin in spring 2024. To apply or learn more, go to nature.org/ExpandingAgroforestry.

The project is focused on the use of three agroforestry practices:

Alley cropping: Planting rows of trees and/or shrubs to create alleys within which crops are produced.

Silvopasture: Deliberate integration of trees and grazing livestock operations on the same land. These systems are intensively managed for both forest products and forage, providing both short- and long-term income.

Windbreaks: Linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to provide economic, environmental and community benefits. The primary purpose of most windbreaks is to slow the wind for the benefit of soils, crops, livestock, wildlife and people.

Agroforestry is used by less than 2% of farm operations in the U.S., yet it can sequester 2 to 4 tons of carbon per acre per year in plant biomass, Knapp said. Adding trees to agricultural landscapes can also increase carbon stored in soils and decrease the use of fertilizers, reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on water quality. This project, which includes targeted efforts to increase accessibility and engagement with underserved producers, could eventually spur the adoption of agroforestry practices on tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmlands, he said.







Source: missouri.edu


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