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January No. 1

Landowners See Mississippi Silvopasture o­n the Move

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Last November, the Mississippi Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Jeff Davis Soil and Water Conservation District sponsored a Silvopasture Field Day at the Larry Rogers Farm in Prentis, Mississippi. Larry has installed a silvopasture demonstration area o­n his farm which was funded by the National Agroforestry Center (NAC). They have done an excellent job with the establishment of both the longleaf pine and loblolly pine silvopasture systems. These systems will serve as an excellent comparison of the two species used in similar systems as they develop through the years.

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New Book Reviews Methods to Analyze the Economics of Agroforestry

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The book Valuing Agroforestry Systems: Methods and Applications, edited by J.R.R. Alavalapati and D. Evan Mercer (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004) provides an excellent contribution to the literature for systems valuation, an area in agroforestry studies that has lagged behind while the ecological and biophysical aspects took off, as pointed out by the editors. It is a valuable reference for students, researchers, and professionals and policy makers in rural development, agroforestry, and related natural resource areas.

The book contains a range of papers that cover not o­nly an array of economic methodologies for agroforestry system valuation, but also approaches for institutional analyses of these systems. Significantly, it takes a global (yet individualized system) perspective, drawing examples from case studies o­n all five continents and from both tropical and temperate systems.

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Agroforestry Development Advances in O­ntario, Canada

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On-going agroforestry research programs at the University of Guelph (UG) will continue to play a vital role in the expansion of agroforestry in O­ntario. This will complement several new programs in o­ntario that support the introduction of trees into agricultural landscapes (e.g., C$15 million Green Cover Program, creation of Greenbelt zones, implementation of the Source Water Protection Planning, agricultural production systems that create outcome-based value chains, Canadian Forest Service (CFS) initiatives (e.g. Forest 2020), etc.).

Agroforestry land-use systems can be sustainable and hence agroforestry research goals and objectives will contribute towards numerous outcome-based environmental, social and production "Value Chains" (environment, public health, food, bio-economy, production) and therefore potentially could create many cross-links between "value chain-based" program clusters.

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Loan Fund to Encourage Poplar Planting in Minnesota

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The Minnesota Agro-Forestry Cooperative (MAFC), Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (MDA), Central Minnesota Community Foundation (CMCF) and WesMin Resource Conservation and Development (WesMin RC&D) are announcing the start of an innovative low-interest loan program that will assist landowners with growing hybrid poplar trees for commercial harvest.

Studies by the University of Minnesota and other groups show that these fast growing trees can be used for biomass energy production in as little as 5 years, and for pulp or solid wood products in 10-15 years. The crop looks promising for the future and has several potential markets.

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Register Now for 2005 Agroforestry Conference

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Now is the best time to register for the Ninth North American Agroforestry Conference, June 12-15, 2005 at Rochester, Minnesota. Early registration discounts are available until January 31 for the three-day meeting, entitled Moving Agroforestry into the Mainstream. You can save $25 by registering before the end of January, compared to regular registration rates offered from February 1 through May 2. AFTA members are entitled to an additional discount o­n fees.

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