Presentation on theme: "THE POTENTIAL AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS IN IRELAND by"— Presentation transcript:
1 THE POTENTIAL AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS IN IRELAND by Note: Do not change background, font or font colours.Jim McAdam
2 Contents Issues Agroforestry in Ireland Benefits of Agroforestry SystemsFarm SuitabilitySupport and Opportunities
3 RURAL ISSUES IN IRELAND Environmental - intensification of grassland farming has resulted in loss of biodiversity,low carbon storage potential, reduced water quality and a degraded rural landscape.blanket cover of conifers on peatSocio-economic - poor incomes from farming- decoupling of support- declining rural population
4 Regulation -. conformation to various directives, Regulation - conformation to various directives, mainly for soil, water, biodiversity, carbon.Need to address environmental problems and diversify income source i.e. need to find land use systems which areSUSTAINABLE
5 This paper aims to show that Silvopasture as a form of Agroforestry can help address some of these issues and offer a sustainable land use option to livestock farmers or foresters in Ireland
6 What is Agroforestry?Agroforestry is a collective name for land use practices where trees are combined with crops and/or animals on the same unit of land and where there are significant ecological or economic interaction between the tree and the agricultural components.Silvopasture – where trees are grown in grazed pasture in a regular or varied pattern.
7 Examples of Silvopastoral Systems I. Tree culture on swards where widely spaced, protected trees are planted into established swards
8 Examples of Silvopastoral Systems II. Grazing in forests following thinning and reseeding
9 Silvopastoral Systems can be achieved by either: Respacing an established woodlandPlanting trees into grazed pasture
10 Examples of systems: N. Ireland Note: tree protection
12 Agroforestry in Ireland Very few examples – most are recentOld Poplar plantations for matchsticksEstate ‘parklands’
13 Agroforestry in Ireland Experimental trials at AFBI’s field station in Loughgall, Co. Armagh.
14 Agroforestry in Ireland Ash and Sycamore silvopasture planted in 1989Mixtures planted in 1995Silvoarable area planted in 1997
15 Johnstown Castle, Wexford Silvopastoral trial with cattle
16 Main Findings Little developed Encouraging research findings Ash at 400 stems/ha (5x5 metres) bestCompatible with farming systemsSignificant environmental improvementsEnhances the landscapeAnimal welfare benefits
17 Benefits of Agroforestry Systems LandscapeEnvironmentalClimate change mitigationProductionEconomicSocialAnimal WelfareSustainability
18 LANDSCAPE Introduce trees to the farmed landscape Variety of scale and species can be usedNo need to clear fellAnimals through trees are an attraction
24 Economic forecasts Complex Decline in stocking rate; increase in timber; increase in non-market values.Sample price scenario (net benefit €/ha)Values of silvopasture over agriculture (2000)Food pricesConstant-1%-2%Timber prices+1%+2%€125229146266
25 Value of Silvopasture Over Agriculture Reduction in grazingCurrent supportNo supportSubsidy removed in 201025%-21.87-12.3111.4810%53.5019.5069.13Year 13 (ash) at 400 stems/ha – 7.21m3 hurley quality ash butts€272/m3 from 1.87ha.i.e. €1048/ha
29 Impacts on FORESTRY/WOODLAND CLIMATE CHANGE IMPLICATIONSImpacts on FORESTRY/WOODLANDProvide MARKET & NON-MARKET outputsNegative ImpactsCatastrophic events have major impactsIncrease in frost damage, arthropod pests & fungal diseasesNative trees with long cold-season requirement (eg ash) will declineAncient heritage and native woodlands under greater threat eg wind damage & selected removal
30 Some Positive ImpactsLonger growing season = more productivityWider range of species availableCarbon storage opportunitiesMore scope on the ‘margins’ – ie land use systems which can adapt better, enhance landscape and biodiversityBiomass, scrublands, agroforestry
31 Climate Change Mitigation- Forestry. Move from conifers on peat to broadleaved woodlands and find more novel ways to introduce trees into farmed landscapeConnectivity and expansion of native and heritage woodlandsNeed contingency plans for catastrophiesNeed to think now about broadening species baseRenewable energy systemsEmphasise carbon storage opportunities
32 Carbon StorageGordon et al, (2007) in Canada compared C dynamics in Silvopasture (Poplar at 111 trees/ha) vs. Pasture.Net Annual C sequestration potential (tC/ha/yr) in different land use practicesLand Use PracticeSpeciestC/ha/yrSilvopasturePoplar2.8*PasturePerennial ryegrass1.0Forest Plantation (Ireland)Sitka spruce (yc 18)3.8* This rate is equivalent to an immobilised rate of 9.9 t of atmospheric CO2/ha/yr.
33 Farm Suitability Current uptake is low An unproven technology Limited short to medium term goalsAgroforestry not promoted as a timber systemDelivers; Conservation, Amenity, Recreation, Environmental (CARE) goodsFits with organic farming and rural community objectives
34 Summary of Farmer Attitudes Huge lack of awareness of agroforestry – need for educationEnvironmental benefits are more important to farmersSystem flexibility is attractiveMost want more informationThe more farmers are shown about the system, the more interested they becomeChallenge for researchers and extension workers
35 Support and Opportunities Tree Planting in N. IrelandCurrently at 400 ha/year (c.f ha 10 yrs ago)Below Forest Service targetsN.I. has lowest tree cover in Europe (6%)Over 70% timber importsNeed to increase incentive
36 EU Policy Decrease livestock production Decoupling of subsidy payment Stabilize rural communitiesEnhance biodiversityReduce pollutionSustainability
37 Support and Opportunities Tree Planting and the Single Farm PaymentFarmers can consolidate their SFP to facilitate new tree plantingThe procedure will reduce the number of entitlements but increase their unit value so SFP unaffectedWill increase viability of plantingPotential for rural community involvementHelps gain access to agri-environment schemes
38 Support and Opportunities Agroforestry and the SFPWoodland grant payable pro rata at €2720 for 1100 trees/haEstablishment costs are approx €1620/haFarm Woodland Premium not payableSilvopasture will be considered as forage area and eligible for SFP as long as agriculture remains the predominant useSilvopasture as an option in REPS 4
39 Silvopasture offers a real, sustainable land use option in a post – decoupling, climate change scenario.