Jeff Jensen is field coordinator and program manager for Trees Forever. A graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Communication Studies, he has over eight years’ experience working with various third crops and the landowners who grow them. Jeff grows hazelnuts and other perennial crops on his family farm in Northern Kossuth County, Iowa.
The challenges and opportunities, including financial returns, were studied for six different perennial crops that can be used in agroforestry practices. Crops investigated were aronia berry, black walnut, chestnut, Christmas trees, elderberry and hazelnut.
What crops have high potential as species for inclusion in agroforestry practices?
This project showed that several of these identified crops can generate per acre returns greater than row crops over a projected 20-year time frame, although risk is generally higher. Barriers to wider adoption and marketing channels also were addressed in this study.