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Volume 20 No. 1 July 2014

A note to AFTA Members

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Welcome to the July, 2014 edition of the Temperate Agroforester. The newsletter welcomes contributions for future issues and input or feedback about anything that you read in this issue. 

New Book: Sustainable agroecosystems in climate change mitigation

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  • Editor:  Maren Oelbermann, Ph.D.
  • Wageningen Academic Publishers
  • ISBN: 978-90-8686-235-1

One of the challenges under current land management practices is to increase food and soil security to meet projected trends in food production, while maintaining the resilience to climate change. This book provides a forum for researchers to access the most recent developments in enhancing carbon sinks and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. It suggests that policies and practices integrating microbial technology, modern crop cultivars, conservation practices, increased manure application, organic farming and agroforestry have a greater capacity to sequester carbon and reduce carbon-based greenhouse gases, leading to more robust agroecosystems compared to conventional agriculture.

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Understanding the carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems in central Alberta

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Shelterbelts, hedgerows and grazed woodlands are an important part of the agricultural landscape in central Alberta. These agroforestry systems provide wildlife habitat, serve as windbreaks, retain snow and water and reduce soil erosion.  The trees also capture and store carbon from the atmosphere, which helps to offset greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates impacts of tillage on soil health and productivity.

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Agroforestry Academy

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The Mid-American Agroforestry Working Group (MAAWG) holds the 2nd Agroforestry Academy on July 21-25, 2014 in Winona, Minnesota. Funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development grant.

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Is seeing really believing? Windbreak effects on nearby crop yields.

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Following the drought and dust storms of the 1930s the US federal government’s response was to invest $13.8 million to plant more than 200 million trees and shrubs throughout the Great Plains. These planting were initially established to reduce windblown soil, but research suggests there is an additional benefit that would surprise many agricultural producers.

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3rd World Congress of Agroforestry – February 10-14, 2014 - Delhi, India

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Over 1,000 people participated in the 3rd WCA, theme - “Trees For Life”, in India, including people from more than 80 countries – tropical, sub-tropical and temperate (www.wca2014.org). Temperate agroforestry is a part of a larger picture of world agroforestry and it is important for North American researchers and practitioners to get together with counterparts from other parts of the world. Agroforesters from Canada and the United States that attended included Raju Soolanayakanahally (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), Shibu Jose (Univ. of Missouri), P.K. Nair (Univ. of Florida) and Marney Isaac (Univ. of Toronto), to name a few.

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Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America (2011-2012)

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Our USDA colleagues have been busy on the agroforestry file since the release of the USDA Agroforestry Strategic Framework by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan in June, 2011, at the 12th NAAC in Athens, Georgia, and which was then presented in more detail by the National Agroforestry Center (NAC) Director, Andy Mason.

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