Phase Farming with Trees – Field validation of the cropping phase

  • 68 pages

  • Published: 23 Jul 2008

  • Author(s): Sudmeyer, R.A., L., Jones, H.

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This JVAP report details the findings of a five year research project examining the effects of Phase-Farming with Trees on adjacent agriculture. Phase-Farming with Trees (PFT) has been identified as a new agroforestry system with potential salinity reduction and income diversification benefits. A key aim of PFT is to use trees to minimise groundwater recharge and subsequent salinisation and thus improve the situation for (subsequent) agriculture. PFT is similar to phase cropping with perennial pasture species; a woody biomass crop is grown until stored soil water is exhausted in three to five years. The woody crop is then harvested and conventional annual crops or pasture grown until soil water content is sufficient to repeat the rotation. This project aimed to resolve some of the uncertainties related to PFT effects on soil, agricultural yield and costs.