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Expanding Agroforestry Incentives Project

A new Agroforestry incentive project provides funds for producers to plant trees in sustainable practices in rural areas. Over the course of five years, $36 million will be paid out to producers in direct incentive payments to transform 30,000 acres spanning 30 states into agroforestry systems, thus building a foundation for expanding agroforestry practices nationally. Agroforestry includes 5 practices, windbreaks, alley cropping, silvopasture, riparian forest buffers and forest farming. Three of these practices, windbreaks, silvopasture and alley cropping will be funded under this new project.

Learn more about how to apply

The Expanding Agroforestry Project is one of 141 projects funded by the USDA's Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative. The Nature Conservancy, the project lead, is working with several organizations in 6 regions to manage the project, including coordinating with national partners to expand financing and develop markets for agroforestry commodities. The Savanna Institute is the Midwest contact for this project in 6 states: MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, and MI.

A natural climate solution, agroforestry is used by less than 2% of farm operations in the U.S., yet it can sequester 2 to 4 tons of carbon per acre per year in plant biomass. Adding trees to agricultural landscapes can also increase carbon stored in soils and decrease the use of fertilizers, reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on water quality. This project, which includes targeted efforts to increase accessibility and engagement with underserved producers, could eventually spur the adoption of agroforestry practices on tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmlands.

The first application cycle started in 2023, however, producers are invited to submit their plans on the application website because each region will have two to three enrollment cycles annually. Typically, applicants will receive a notification about the status of their application within three to four months from the submission deadline for that enrollment cycle.

Producers selected into the program will be paired with technical assistance providers who will work with them to develop an agroforestry plan for their operation. The per-tree incentive payments substantially subsidize the installation costs of new agroforestry plantings, with producers getting on average $35 per tree as well as a $450 per acre transition payment over three years.

For more information about the project, visit the Expanding Agroforestry Project or contact Barbara Decre at
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