COLUMBIA, Mo. – Eligible producers are invited to apply to the the Expanding Agroforestry Incentive Payment Program. Over five years, the program will pay producers $36 million to transform 30,000 acres spanning 30 states into agroforestry systems.

The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri will oversee applications and provide technical assistance for producers in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, said Ben Knapp, interim director of the Center for Agroforestry. The project is led by The Nature Conservancy.

“There is growing interest in agroforestry among farmers and producers in the Midwest region, motivated by increased profitability, diversified production and a wide range of environmental benefits,” Knapp said. “The Expanding Agroforestry Project will be a catalyst to adoption by reducing barriers and providing technical assistance for long-term success.”

The deadline to apply for the first enrollment cycle in the Lower Midwest region, which includes Missouri, is Dec. 15. The next application cycle will begin in spring 2024. To apply or learn more, go to

The project is focused on the use of three agroforestry practices:

  • Alley cropping: Planting rows of trees and/or shrubs to create alleys within which crops are produced.
  • Silvopasture: Deliberate integration of trees and grazing livestock operations on the same land. These systems are intensively managed for both forest products and forage, providing both short- and long-term income.
  • Windbreaks: Linear plantings of trees and shrubs designed to provide economic, environmental and community benefits. The primary purpose of most windbreaks is to slow the wind for the benefit of soils, crops, livestock, wildlife and people.

Agroforestry is used by less than 2% of farm operations in the U.S., yet it can sequester 2 to 4 tons of carbon per acre per year in plant biomass, Knapp said. Adding trees to agricultural landscapes can also increase carbon stored in soils and decrease the use of fertilizers, reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on water quality. This project, which includes targeted efforts to increase accessibility and engagement with underserved producers, could eventually spur the adoption of agroforestry practices on tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmlands, he said.

Producers selected for the program will be paired with technical assistance providers, who will work with them to develop agroforestry plans for their operations. The incentive payments substantially subsidize the installation costs of new agroforestry plantings, estimated at 75% of installation costs and/or $450 per acre.

For more information, visit or email the project’s Lower Midwest education specialist, Gina Beebe, at

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number NR233A750004G005. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, any reference to specific brands or types of products or services does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for those products or services.