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Agroforestry Systems in Hesse

Testing of a cultivation system for the further development of organic farming on the Hessian State Domain Gladbacherhof


The Agroforestry on the Gladbacherhof


Video: Silvoarable Agroforestry System


  • Extreme weather events in recent years have shown that organic farms in Hessen also have to reckon with large yield losses and severe erosion events in view of climate change.
  • Further development of existing organic farming systems towards more resilience is necessary to make agriculture fit for changing climatic conditions.
  • Agroforestry systems have great potential in this regard due to their far-reaching ecosystem services.
  • Agroforestry systems must become an integral part of future agricultural support and therefore functioning practical examples and accompanying research are absolutely necessary.


Planned innovation & aims

The overall objective of the project is to further develop climate-resilient, ecological farming systems by developing and testing adapted agroforestry systems.

The goals in detail:

  • Elaboration of the current state of knowledge of the ecological and economic performance of agroforestry systems for the climatic region of Central Europe.
  • Establishment of a long-term agroforestry trial in Hesse and development of the research infrastructure for the development of agroforestry systems in Hesse
  • Recording the ecological and economic performance of agroforestry systems in long-term trials
  • Development of reward systems for climate protection services using the example of agroforestry systems
  • Improvement of the legal framework for subsidies: Development of recommendations for the inclusion of agroforestry systems in agricultural subsidies



  • Convocation of a project advisory board consisting of representatives from agricultural practice, extension, science and administration for a broad integration of the results into practice and research.
  • Establishment of three agroforestry systems for practice and research on the Gladbacherhof.
  • Establishment of an permanent agroforestry field trial and systematic recording of important ecosystem services (soil quality, water protection, biodiversity, climate protection, adaptation) as well as agronomic and economic parameters.
  • Evaluation of the state of knowledge by means of a quantitative literature review (meta-study) on ecological and economic services of agroforestry systems in Europe.
  • Knowledge transfer and recommendations for practice, extension, science and administration.


Lead Partner


Justus-Liebig University Gießen

Professorship of Organic Farming with focus on sustainable soil use

Dr. Philipp Weckenbrock

Phone: 0641-99-37735



Justus-Liebig University Gießen,

Professorship of Landscape, Water and Biogeochemical Cycles

Prof. Dr. Lutz Breuer


Project Advisory Board


Sepp Braun, Bioland-farmer with longstanding experience in agroforestry

Mareike Jäger, agroforestry expert at ZHAW Life Sciences und Facility Management

Burkhard Kayser, Freelance consultant and agroforestry expert

Karl Eckart Mascus, head of the office for rural areas

Martin Fuchs, HMUKLV

Dr. Ute Williges, LLH



Project duration


2020 – 2023