Contact person:

Bhim Bahadur Ghaley

Associate Professor, PhD

Vaibhav Pradeep Chaudhary


Living Lab 6: Denmark

Managed by: University Of Copenhagen, Taastrup Campus, Denmark

General information
The experimental production system is a combined food and energy (CFE) system, integrating food and fodder crops with biomass belts constituting mixed stands of willow, alder and hazelnut. It was established in the spring of 1995 at the experimental farm in Taastrup (55◦400 N, 12◦180 E) under University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Prior to 1995, the site was continuously cropped with annual crops. 

General farming approach
Organic farm.

Carbon neutral farm to produce food, fodder and energy 


  • Maintenance of soil fertility
  • Yield stability
  • Lack of funds to carry out measurements and monitor the living lab.

Research goals
Aim: Carbon neutral farming

Previous relevant research undertaken:
1. Quantification and valuation of ecosystem services in diverse production systems for informed decision-making (Ghaley et al. 2014. DOI:  10.1016/j.envsci.2013.08.004)
2. Determination of biomass accumulation in mixed belts of Salix, Corylus and Alnus species in combined food and energy production system  (Ghaley and Porter, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2014.02.009 )
3. Ecosystem function and service quantification and valuation in a conventional winter wheat production system with DAISY model in Denmark (Ghaley and Porter, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.09.010)
4. Relationship between C:N/C:O Stoichiometry and Ecosystem Services in Managed Production Systems (Ghaley et al. 2015. DOI: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0123869)
5. Assessment of Productivity and Economic Viability of Combined Food and Energy (CFE) Production System in Denmark (Ying Xu et al, 2019 DOI:  10.3390/en12010166)
6. Productivity and Economic Evaluation of Agroforestry Systems for Sustainable Production of Food and Non-Food Products (Lehmann et al. 2020. DOI: 10.3390/su12135429)
7. Assessing the multidimensional elements of sustainability in European agroforestry systems (Smith et al. 2022. DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103357)

Design of the agroforestry system 
The combined food and energy (CFE) is an organic production system, without the use of any fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. In CFE, the food components consisted of winter wheat, barley (Hordeum vulgare), oat (Avena sativa) and fodder component consisted of  

ryegrass (Lolium perenne)/lucerne (Medicago sativa) ley and bio-energy component consisted of 5 double rows of short rotation woody crops (shelterbelts). A combined food and energy (CFE) agro-ecosystem was established in Denmark, as a potential production system to produce food, fodder and energy. CFE is an agroforestry system integrating SRWC into conventional monoculture to produce food, fodder and energy.

The CFE system is an alley cropping system with food and fodder crops in the alleys and short rotation woody crops (SRWC) as the biomass belts for energy production. It consists of 10.1 ha of food components like spring barley, winter wheat, oat and lucerne/ryegrass as food and fodder components and 0.75 ha of biomass belts consisting of five belts of SRWC, placed at spatial distances of 50, 100, 150, and 200 m within the field. Each biomass belt is 10.7 m wide and consists of five double rows of SRWC. Of the five double rows, three double rows in the middle consists of three willow clones (one double row each) of Salix viminalis (L.) “Jor”, Salix dasycladus Wimmer, and Salix triandra cinerea (L.) bordered by one double row of common hazel Corylus avellana (L.) on one side and one double row of alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) on the other side. Each double row is 1.3 m apart, with a planting density of 20,000 trees ha−1 . The SRWC are planted at intra-row spacing of 0.5 m and inter-row distance of 0.7 m. The biomass belts are established at varying distances of 50, 100, 150, and 200 m creating alleys of the equivalent distances to assess the spatial effects of biomass belts on food and fodder components. The biomass belts are harvested and chipped every four years and the wood chips sold to a nearby heat and power station for the production of heat and electricity, while the food and fodder crops grown between the biomass belt and harvested annually.

What will be monitored and how:

A. Above ground:  DOI: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2014.02.009
B. Below ground: DOI: 10.1007/s004420050201
C. Litter sampling  =  collect litter + dead wood and branches with 0.25 m2 sampling frame.
A. 137 Cs Method: DOI: 10.2307/3673774  OR
B. Ghaley and Porter, 2013 = DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2012.08.009’
SOIL CORE METHOD: DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.08.004
4. SHELTERBELT EFFECTS: Method from paper – DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.08.004
5. BIOLOGICAL NITROGEN FIXATION: Method from paper DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.08.004
6. SOIL FORMATION: MUSTARD SOLUTION METHOD: DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.08.004
7. NITROGEN MINERALISATION: Bait-lamina probe method: DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.08.004
8. APHID & PREDATOR: Pitfall and pantrap method
Data/ baseline information is currently available: Land and soil characteristics, annual weather data, plot size and spacing.


11.1 8 ha pasture (10.1 is arable food and 1.0 biofuel)


Research and educational type (alley cropping)

Established in May 1995

Inter-row/In-row distance: 1.3/ 0.5 m

Width of tree strips: 11 m

Number of trees: 20000 trees ha (Fodder : Food : Tree biomass – 45:45:10 ratio)

Alder (Alnus rubra), Willow clones [ (one double row each) of (Salix viminalis (L.) “Jor”, Salix dasycladus Wimmer and Salix triandra × cinerea (L.) ] and Common hazel (Corylus spp.)

Livestock: No

SANDY LOAM (Sand – Silt – Clay: 65 – 20 – 15 percent)