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Business and Economics

Agroforestry systems provide a wide range of economic benefits to producers and forest managers. These benefits can include increased production, diversified income streams, and more effective use of buffers and other field edges. These approaches can appeal to a range of farm sizes and types, from larger commodities growers to small, new, and/or limited-resource producers.

Opportunities for Enhancing Economic Benefits

There are significant existing and emerging opportunities for enhancing the economic benefits of agroforestry. Enhancing producers’ access to resources, markets, and risk management strategies for agroforestry can make operations more resilient.

Numerous resources exist for helping farmers to access land. From USDA programs, to land linking efforts, to leasing guides, partners throughout the agroforestry community are working to support those for whom access to land is their biggest barrier. Efforts are underway to help producers pay for up-front costs of agroforestry systems through USDA loans, banker and investor opportunities, and other approaches.

Producers with agroforestry systems access a wide range of markets: direct, wholesale, retail, online, and everything in between. Intermediaries, including processors, food hubs, distributors, often play an important role in the supply chain for agroforestry producers. In addition, adding value through processing is an effective approach for many growers with products with a short shelf life or products that consumers use in a processed form. For example, some producers make fruit jams or purees or sell shelled or dried nuts. Support for accessing these markets is also important.

Risk Management

Risk management techniques, including planning for short and long-term income, insurance tools, and diversified markets are also important to producers with agroforestry systems. USDA supports these aspects of business and economics, as do other agroforestry partners.

Business planning is an important part of agroforestry implementation. While agroforestry systems provide economic benefits to producers, planning for both long and short term income can be challenging. Resources exist to support this aspect of agroforestry including a wide array of enterprise budgets and other cost/benefit analysis tools.

Information Sheets

  • Infosheet

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    Can Alley Cropping Provide More Farming Options?

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  • Infosheet

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    Why Add Edible And Floral Plants To Riparian Forest Buffers?

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  • Infosheet

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    Can Windbreaks Do More Than Slow The Wind?

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  • Infosheet

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    Can Windbreaks Help With Organic Farming?

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  • Infosheet

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    Where Can Edible Non-timber Forest Products Be Sold?

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  • Infosheet

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    ¿Cuáles Son Las Oportunidades De Ingreso En Agroforestería?

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  • Infosheet

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    What Are Agroforestry's Income Opportunities

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Brochures

    Inside Agroforestry

    • Inside Agroforestry

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      New And Beginning Farmers

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Locally Sourced

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Many Paths To Success

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Scoring Big With Silvopasture

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Alley Cropping: A Relic From The Past Or A Bridge To The Future?

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Seeing The Non-timber Forest Products For The Trees

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Fuel For The Future

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      A Diverse Portfolio

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Diamonds In The Rough

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Odor: Can Trees Make A Difference?

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Alley Cropping: 20/20 Vision For Farming's Future

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Summer 1999

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Summer 1998

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    • Inside Agroforestry

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      Summer 1993

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    Agroforestry Notes

    • Agroforestry Note

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      Non-timber Forest Products And Forest Stewardship Plans

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Developing Consumer And Market Research For Non-Timber Forest Products

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Pine Straw: A Profitable Agroforestry Enterprise

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Windbreaks: A "fresh"� Tool To Mitigate Odors From Livestock Production Facilities

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Windbreak Density: Rules Of Thumb For Design

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Silvopasture Tree Pruning

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Photo-realistic Visual Simulation: An Agroforestry Planning Tool

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Direct Marketing Of Agroforestry Products

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Planning Agroforestry Practices

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      American Ginseng Production In Woodlots

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Forest Production Of Goldenseal

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Farming Exotic Mushrooms In The Forest

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    • Agroforestry Note

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      Economics And Marketing Of Ginseng

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    Research

    • Research

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      Working Trees: Supporting Agriculture And Healthy Landscapes

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    • Research

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      Growing American Ginseng In Forestlands

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    • Research

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      Forest Farming Practices

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    • Research

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      Riparian Forest Buffers: Building A Sustainable Bioenergy Future

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    • Research

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      Creatively Communicating Conservation Complexity

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    • Research

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      Forest Farming: Expanding Farm And Forestry Opportunities

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    • Research

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      Managing Agricultural Landscapes For Environmental Quality: Strengthening The Science Base

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    • Research

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      Perennial Crops For Bio-fuels And Conservation

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    • Research

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      Tool Time: Melding Watershed And Site Goals On Private Lands

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    • Research

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      Visualizing Food And Farm

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    • Research

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      Computer-based Tools For Decision Support In Agroforestry: Current State And Future Needs

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    • Research

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      The Fourth P: Planning For Multi-purpose Riparian Buffers

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    • Research

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      Agroforestry And GIS: Achieving Land Productivity And Environmental Protection

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    • Research

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      Agroforestry: Mapping The Way With GIS

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    • Research

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      Planning For Multi-purpose Riparian Management

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    More Publications

    • More Publications

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      Enhancing Rural Economies Through Agroforestry

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    • More Publications

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      Inspirations For Creating A Long-Term Agricultural Lease For Agroforestry: A Workbook

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    • More Publications

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      Marketing Specialty Forest Products

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    • More Publications

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      Productive Conservation: Growing Specialty Forest Products In Agroforestry Plantings.

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    • More Publications

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      Opportunities For Enhancing Nontimber Forest Products Management In The United States

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    • More Publications

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      Profitable Farms And Woodlands

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    • More Publications

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      Managing Shade Coffee

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    • More Publications

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      Windbreaks For Fruit And Vegetable Crops

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    • More Publications

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      Windbreaks For Livestock Operations

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    • More Publications

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      Windbreaks In Sustainable Agricultural Systems

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    https://www.fs.usda.gov/nac/topics/business-economics.php