WHAT IS AGROFORESTRY ?
Agroforestry is the association of trees and crops or animals on the same plot. This ancestral practice is now put forward because it allows better use of resources, greater biological diversity and the creation of a micro-climate favorable to increased yields.
WHAT BENEFIT DO TREES PROVIDE ?
The tree, thanks to its roots, creates conditions in the deep layers of the soil that favor the supply of water and minerals to surface crops. Agroforestry techniques make it possible to arrange trees so that they favor crops as much as possible and compete with them as little as possible. Trees also limit the leakage of nitrates into deeper soil layers, which reduces groundwater pollution. Soil fertility can be enhanced by tree leaves that fall to the ground and provide an important supply of biomass that can be mineralized. Finally, they can contribute to the nitrogen supply of the crop and therefore reduce the use of synthetic inputs.
Trees and hedges in the fields provide a diversity of species and habitats, which is favorable to beneficial insects of crops and pollinators.
“You can see it when you plant the plants,” she says. Breeders accomplish something that has meaning for them and for others, they are proud of it. Some have been dreaming about it for years without knowing how to go about it.”
Animal welfare and agroforestry referent at Maïsadour
Nothing could be simpler, however : Maïsadour takes care of everything, listing the sites to be afforested, the needs of the animals, the optimization of the routes or even the wishes of the stockbreeder in terms of layout and species.
“Trees are allies: a source of coolness in summer, protection in winter, a source of organic matter for the soils of the rangelands, which they also facilitate drainage, and even a nutritional supply for the animals.” notes Laurence Zancan
Beyond animal welfare, agroforestry improves the living and working environment of the breeders themselves. “Trees improve the visual, retain smells, give value to the landscape, lists Laurence Zancan. This allows breeders to recreate the link with their neighborhood, with their environment and to assert their positive role in the development of the territory. “
Last year, six breeders took advantage of financial aid and technical and logistical support from Maïsadour to plant 3,000 trees. This year, 19 applications are already being processed for a total of 7,500 trees.
FOCUS ON THE EXPERIENCE OF PASCAL PUCHEU, MAISADOUR MEMBER
Label chicken breeder, Maïsadour member.
In 2020, Pascal Pucheu’s Label chicken farm in Orthez suffered major damage to the huts following the passage of a storm.
“Before replacing the cabins, I wanted to take the opportunity to display my course and protect my facilities with a windbreak hedge,” he says. He therefore called on Maïsadour and in the spring of 2021, after two meetings and soil preparation, 570 trees were planted over an area of 1.5 hectares.
“Maïsadour took care of the file, the advice, the supply of trees, stakes, fences and protections. I just had to spend on aperitifs and meals for the friends who came to help us on the day of planting,” he smiles. A year later, he is surprised by the growth of the trees, which are already overtaking the protections. Pascal also appreciated the advice and follow-up from the Maïsadour teams. Enough to give ideas to his neighbors and fellow breeders, some of whom have also taken the plunge.