Farming with trees across arable and grassland is key to the farming sector achieving net zero - new research shows - Woodland Trust

aerial view of rows of trees in a field next to a ploughed field
Agroforestry can have vast benefits for business, nature and climate (Jeremy Gugenheim)

A new report from the Woodland Trust shows how a major increase in agroforestry – farming with trees - in England, is essential if the country is to meet nature and climate targets, whilst at the same time securing long term food production.  

The report draws on new analysis commissioned from Cranfield University and reveals arable farms which adopt silvoarable systems (integrating trees into arable farming which is one type of agroforestry) could lock up eight tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year over 30 years. Eight tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to the annual emissions of a UK citizen.  

It explains that agriculture is responsible for 10% of UK territorial greenhouse gas emissions with the net effect of “land use, land use change and forestry” responsible for another 1%. Establishing agroforestry on 10% of arable land and 30% of grassland could enable agriculture-related emissions to reach net zero by 2050 whilst maintaining high levels of food production. Integrating trees into farming systems will enable farms to become more resilient both economically and environmentally. 

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Posted On: 01/11/2022

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