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Reference Desk

Intensive Rice Farming in Madagascar


The paper describes a technique set up in Madagascar for rice production. It is based on irrigation with a minimum quantity of water and the transplanting of very young seedlings (from 15 to 10 or even 8 days) set individually (no tuft). The spacings vary according to local conditions, from 25 x 25 cm (at 1200 m a.s.l.) to 40 x 40 cm at sea level. Yields went from 2 tons paddy per hectare to 8 or even 12 tons with local varieties. Varieties obtained by selection were not more productive than the local ones under rural production techniques in the country.

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Alley Cropping

Alley Cropping Benefits
Alley Cropping Benefits

The first video summarizes the general ideas related to the "Wind breaks and Forest Zones" planned for the EcoCulture project to create a more eco-diverse and bio-diverse farm system. Here's a summary from the video:

"Alley Cropping is planting rows of trees at wide spacings with a companion crop grown in the alleyways between the rows. Alley cropping can diversify farm income, improve crop production and provide protection and conservation benefits to crops. Common examples of alley cropping plantings include wheat, corn, soybeans or hay planted in between rows of black walnut or pecan trees. Non-traditional or value added crops may also be incorporated for extra income, including sunflowers or medicinal herbs planted in between rows of nut trees alternated with nursery stock trees. Fine hardwoods like walnut, oak, ash, and pecan are favored tree species in alley cropping systems and can potentially provide high value lumber or veneer logs while income is derived from a companion crop planted in the alleyways. "

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Riparian Forest Buffers

Riparian Forest Buffer
Riparian Forest Buffer.

"Riparian forest buffers are natural or re-established streamside forests made up of tree, shrub, and grass plantings. They buffer non-point source pollution of waterways from adjacent land, reduce bank erosion, protect aquatic environments, enhance wildlife, and increase biodiversity."  - U.Missouri Center for Agroforestry 

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"Windbreaks are planned and managed as part of a crop and/or livestock operation to enhance production, protect livestock, and control soil erosion. Field windbreaks protect a variety of wind- sensitive row, cereal, vegetable, orchard and vine crops, control wind erosion, and increase bee pollination and pesticide effectiveness.

Livestock windbreaks help reduce animal stress and mortality, reduce feed consumption, and help reduce visual impacts and odors. Living snowfences keep roads clean of drifting snow and increase driving safety. They can also spread snow evenly across a field, increasing spring soil moisture. " -- U. Missouri Center for Agroforestry

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Field Windbreaks in Nrth DakotaField Windbreaks in Nrth Dakota (Wikipedia photo)

windbreak or shelterbelt is a plantation usually made up of one or more rows of trees or shrubs planted in such a manner as to provide shelter from the wind and to protect soil from erosion. They are commonly planted around the edges of fields on farms. If designed properly, windbreaks around a home can reduce the cost of heating and cooling and save energy. Windbreaks are also planted to help keep snow from drifting onto roadways and even yards. Other benefits include providing habitat for wildlife and in some regions the trees are harvested for wood products.

Windbreaks and intercropping can be combined in a farming practice referred to as alleycropping. Fields are planted in rows of different crops surrounded by rows of trees. These trees provide fruit, wood, or protect the crops from the wind. Alley cropping has been particularly successful in India, Africa, and Brazil, where coffee growers have combined farming and forestry.[1]

Read more: Windbreak