agroforestry question

DVK dvank at
Sat Jan 29 12:59:44 EST 2000

truffler1635 at wrote:

> In article <25214-388A8E6D-16 at>,
>   TREEFARMER at wrote:
> > Todd we grow corn and soybeans, the only marginally profitable row crops
> > left in Midwestern agriculture. When we got out of cattle over 20 years
> > ago we planted the pastures to trees. At the time we went by soil types
> > and didn't pay much attention to seeps as they were hard to detect in
> > pasture situations. In addition we were in a dry cycle and many didn't
> > appear until the next wet cycle. In many cases the areas were small.
> > What seems to be the pattern is that small seedlings are affected long
> > before their roots even reach the 1-2' depths. The spots are always the
> > same. At this point, due to GPS yield mapping, one can pinpoint where
> > the best and worse areas of the fields will be regardless of the
> > weather. The seeps will be worse even in times of drought.
> >
> Perhaps you should consider using other tree species in these seep
> areas. Locally in Oregon (where the water is always coming down) wet
> areas have different tree species than drier/rockier/better drained
> sites. Ponderosa pine is one species that tolerates damp ground
> surprisingly well. Cottonwood, willow, poplar, will cause a lot of water
> loss through transpiration and faster growth, which should cause at
> least some of the excess water to be decreased, and increase the range
> of productive soils for Black walnut.
> It will also cause species diversity,

yeah, and don't forget about the wildlife.  Perhaps a grove of Spruce, (or
White Cedar if the seeps are not stagnant) could serve as a yarding area for
whitetails.  Doesn't anybody in family enjoy hunting?  Consider
other-than-monetary returns for some of your property.  If you must make a
buck on every square inch, perhaps christmas trees?  Alternately dig out a
lake and raise trout or catfish.  Other wildlife will also benefit from this
added diversity.

> and _could_ result in other crops
> from the same lands without harvesting trees. Many saprophytic fungi
> such as shiitake (Lentinula edodes), oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus),
> morels (Morchella sps) and others prefer these wet-area trees (and
> especially pruned branches) to Black walnut. Increased biomass from
> these trees may actually elevate soil levels near seeps. But you may
> consider putting bales of straw in the same areas. I've had good
> production of blewitt mushrooms using soggy bales of wheat or oat straw
> as substrates. Plus the nutrients left in the straw becomes readily
> available to the trees growing in the area, acting as a natural sponge
> and increasing humus in the soil for at least 2 years. I'll bet that
> will increase tree growth over the next 5 years.
> Daniel B. Wheeler
> Sent via
> Before you buy.

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