Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Farming systems, Alley cropping, Agroforestry, Eucalyptus, Pinus, Soil conservation, Erosion, Erosion control, Western Australia, South west region (W.A.)

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Alley farming is a system where crops and pastures are grown in the alleys between rows of trees and shrubs. The concept is new to Western Australia but one that is likely to become more familiar over the next few years. The objective is to use trees and shrubs to decrease the environmental side effects of agriculture, such as erosion and salinity while increasing farm profit through the direct and indirect value of the trees.

This article describes some examples of alley farming in Western Australia and discusses the challenge of getting the right tree species and layout to maximise the benefits, while minimising competition with crops and pastures for water, nutrients and light.