U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version

January 1999


Published by National Agroforestry Center, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Station, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, East Campus – UNL, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0822.


Alley cropping is an agroforestry practice intended to place trees within agricultural cropland systems. The purpose is to enhance or add income diversity (both long and short range), reduce wind and water erosion, improve crop production, improve utilization of nutrients, improve wildlife habitat or aesthetics, and/or convert cropland to forest. The practice is especially attractive to landowners wishing to add economic stability to their farming system while protecting soil from erosion, water from contamination, and improving wildlife habitat.