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Tree crops a permanent agriculture

 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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Just re reading this permaculture classic By JRussel Smith
It seems there must be some tremendous demonstrations of fodder tree potential in USA
if anyone lives near any of the tree experiments mentioned id love to see some pics etc??
One of the recurring themes is how plant breeders need to improve /xbreed varietys to make them more productive, Ihope you folks are doing so
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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eg the Boyce Thompsom Arbouraetum /institute
THe Hughesville pecan tree in Loudoun county Virginia
And many others
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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I think you Aussies are way ahead of us in the US in terms of tree fodder. Here agriculture is ruled by the universities who only teach what big ag tells them to. No innovation if there's no money for big ag in it - or am I being too cynical?

I got some willow and hybrid poplar cuttings and if they work out as fodder I'll be passing them around to local farmers to incorporate as a fail-safe against the droughts that are becoming more and more common here, or so it seems. What happened last summer was just horrible - animals left to starve until they were too weak to move and had to be shot in the fields because hay became either too expensive or just not available. There's no good system here to move hay from where there's a surplus to where people desperately need it. And that would just spread the losses to the non-drought areas as the prices of hay in the whole country would then skyrocket.

But I think we've been a victim of our success - grass usually grows so well here in so much of the USA that we've never felt the need to look at alternatives. And, really, in the great plains, grass is the most sensible thing to grow, but it probably needs to be the deep-rooted, drought-proof kind and even then the stocking needs to be managed so it isn't all consumed during droughts.

That said, the fur trade here really changed the landscape more than people may realize. Beavers used to dam up creeks and send water on these jagged paths so there was a lot more available for trees in the plains. Now the beavers have been reduced to a very small number, the streams run straight, and mostly are used up for irrigation of crops not adapted to the normal amount of rainfall in the area (like green lawns).
 
andrew curr
Posts: 288
Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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there isnt a lot going on here!
apart from a bit of laeucaena up north
farmers find ploughs sexy
shade has got the potential to assist grass growth
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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On the west coast, highland cattle have been used to graze red alder. This tree fixes more nitrogen than any field crop does. If the cattle are properly controlled, this pioneering species can greatly improve a farm for a long time. It can grow in gravel. In a natural forest, alder is shaded out by evergreens within 30 to 50 years after a fire or other clearing event.
 
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