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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING THE EFFICIENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF DIVERSIFIED FORAGE-BASED LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Location: Forage and Livestock Production Unit

Title: Silvopasture: Small ruminants for establishment, management and usage

Author
item Neel, James

Submitted to: Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2013
Publication Date: February 16, 2013
Citation: Neel, J.P. 2013. Silvopasture: Small ruminants for establishment, management and usage [abstract]. Grazinglands Research Laboratory Miscellaneous Publication. Pg. 6-7.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only

Technical Abstract: Small farm pastures, hayfields, and woodlots are very productive in terms of forage, animal and wood products. Inherent livestock production capability can be improved through better herbage and animal management. Woodlot management can increase economic return, species diversity, and farm aesthetics especially through the introduction of sustainable forage species. Goats and sheep are excellent tools for silvopasture establishment and management. Silvopasture itself must have adequate solar radiation reaching ground level to ensure maximized production and quality of herbage. Tree total diameter at breast height (DBH) values of between 50 to 65 feet per acre, were determined to be preferential in our research silvopastures. Once established, silvopastures with similar fertility management will produce about 60% the herbage dry matter of open pastures. Animal performance can be expected to be equivalent between pasture types, with lambs averaging about 0.20 lb per day gain under our management scheme. Differences in soil and herbage nutrient profiles between pasture types may prove to be advantageous from animal production and environmental standpoints.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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