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December No. 4

Appalachian Silvopasture Research

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Introduction

The Appalachian Region of the USA is characterized by steep, complex terrain and high average annual precipitation (> 1.1 m yr -1). Most of the region is geologically old and soils are highly leached resulting in low pH and nutrient deficiencies for most agricultural production systems. The indigenous vegetation is dominated by species diverse forests. Within the soil a web of tree roots and fungi are very efficient at capturing nutrients from decaying vegetation and o­n many sites most of the nutrients in the system are contained in the vegetation itself.

Due to the hilly topography, agricultural acreage requiring tillage is restricted to a small percent of the total with forage-based animal production systems dominating. With the conversion of forest to pasture, additions of lime and fertilizer are required o­n a regular basis to maintain a high level of productivity. The microbiological populations in soils that evolve after conversion to pasture are more strongly dominated by bacteria and are much more nutrient-leaky than the forest soils they replace.

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Quebec Landowners Test an Innovative Hybrid Poplar-Hardwood Intercropping System

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Hardwood and hybrid poplar (HP) plantations have always played a marginal role o­n the privately owned lands of southern Quebec, where their growth potential is the highest. The lack of interest for planting hardwood and HP is due, in part, to current conflicts between the proponents of a large agricultural land base and those advocating the restoration of forest stands. Furthermore, considering the money involved in the establishment and management of such plantations, the absence of short-term investment returns for hardwood production and insufficient knowledge about HP wood production potential, most landowners do not expect any economic benefit from these plantations.

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Spectacular Quebec City

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The Conference organizers would like to thank the Quebec Tourist Information Bureau for allowing us to use images and pieces of text showcasing Quebec City and the surrounding Region.

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Invitation to the 10th North American Agroforestry Conference in Quebec City, Canada, in June 2007

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The 10th North American Agroforestry Conference, sponsored by the Association for Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA), will be held June 10-13, 2007, at Universite Laval, in Quebec City, o­n the theme : "When Trees and Crops Get Together : Economic Opportunities and Environmental Benefits from Agroforestry".

This will be the third time Canada has hosted the bi-annual North American Agroforestry Conference since the first AFTA conference that took place in Guelph, O­ntario, 18 years ago.

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