Improving Soil Health in Diversified Agroforestry and Silvopasture Systems of NE Washington

Soil health in agroforestry systems is largely lacking in the literature and a great need for data-driven practices has been expressed throughout NE Washington by local foresters, landowners, and tribal units. Forested systems exhibit vastly differing soil biota and response to land management compared with established treatments for soil health improvement in other agroecosystems. Therefore, the proposed project seeks to better understand biological soil health synergies with agroforestry practices, soil-health-building forages, and managed grazing practices in small-holder forests of NE Washington. We intend to characterize the potential for soil health improvement by comparing alley-planting agroforestry with applications of locally-acquired, composted biosolids, and silvopasture, against business-as-usual (BAU) standard forestry practices for the region. Our hypothesis is that biosolids applications combined with unique forages and managed grazing will improve soil health to the greatest degree, while the BAU will see no improvement to soil health over the two years of the project.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 220
  • Project Status: Ongoing