Agroforestry excursion 2023

What opportunities does agroforestry offer for the future of agriculture and how can foundations support stakeholders as well as science and research on this topic? The participants of the excursion "Contemporary Agroforestry and Agroforestry Systems Research in Baden-Württemberg" discussed these and many other questions. Three very different farms presented their working methods and agroforestry systems.

The Hofgut Martinsberg works with a silvopastoral system, i.e. combines wood with livestock, here chicken husbandry. Fast-growing tree species such as poplar or willow are planted at various points on the site. Large chicken mobiles are moved to other places every two months. A few hundred chickens roam free in spacious pens between the young trees. The chickens benefit from both the shade and the protection of the trees from predators. Eggs and energy wood are marketed, and the chicken droppings are used as fertilizer on the fields where the grain for animal feed production is grown.

The Sonnenwald farm for regenerative agriculture works with multifunctional, holistic and sustainable approaches in an agrosilvopastoral system, i.e. it has arable, vegetable and fruit growing and animal husbandry interspersed with various trees and shrubs. The farm operates cooperatively. He sells many of his own products through a farm shop and in retail outlets in the region. In addition to orchards, which also serve as pasture, there are various vegetable and grain fields, which are broken up by strips of flowering plants, hedges, valuable wood and fruit bushes.

The Ihringer Hof, on the other hand, is an experimental station of the University of Hohenheim. As early as 2008, a sustainable agroforestry system with various strips of wood with willows, walnut and semi-natural hedges between the grain fields was created for a long-term test.

In addition to the tour and presentation of the various agroforestry systems, the day was characterized by a lively exchange between the participants about funding needs and possible cooperation. The excursion was organized by the Coordination Office for Agroforestry System Research (kAFo) at the University of Hohenheim, which is funded by the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation.


Press release photographs
Chickens in the free range with wood.
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The Hofgut Martinsberg in Rottenburg combines the production of fuel wood with chicken husbandry in mobile stalls.
(c) Eva Mayr-Stihl Stiftung
Agroforestry system in organic farming
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The Sonnenwald farm in Seewald works in regenerative agriculture and cultivates fields, vegetables and fruit, plants valuable trees and keeps dairy cattle, among other things.
(c) Eva Mayr-Stihl Stiftung
Wheat field with grove and energy wood strips
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At the Ihinger Hof, an experimental station for agricultural sciences at the University of Hohenheim, conventional arable farming is practiced in combination with woody plants.
(c) Eva Mayr-Stihl Stiftung