Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #203500

Title: Dry matter production, nutritive value, and grazing animal response to herbage grown in open and hardwood silvopasture

Author
item Neel, James - Jim
item Belesky, David

Submitted to: North American Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2007
Publication Date: 6/11/2007
Citation: Neel, J.P., Belesky, D.P. 2007. Dry matter production, nutritive value, and grazing animal response to herbage grown in open and hardwood silvopasture. Proceedings of the 10th North American Agroforestry Conference, June 10-13, 2007, Quebec City, Canada. p. 273.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Most small farms in the Appalachian Region are made up of both open pasture and woodlots. A common problem in forage-based livestock production enterprises is the loss of forage quality and quantity during summer because of high temperature and low rainfall. Microsite conditions associated with woodlots can be used to improve distribution of forage availability, provide higher forage quality and possibly increase farm income. Dry matter production, nutritive value, and grazing animal response to herbage grown in open and hardwood silvopasture were evaluated. Silvopasture produced about 30% less dry matter per unit area than traditional open pasture. Silvopasture herbage in the vegetative state had more crude protein (CP), less nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) and equivalent amounts of total digestible nutrients (TDN) when compared to open pasture. When herbage was more mature, silvopasture herbage had greater TDN. Herbage TDN:CP was below 5.0 during the entire grazing season for silvopasture, while below 5.0 only half of the time in open pasture. Lambs grazing open pasture or silvopasture had similar average daily gains, but blood urea nitrogen levels were greater in lambs grazing silvopasture. Silvopasture offers a means of increasing overall farm productivity, but additional information is needed to maximize nutrient utilization within the whole farm system.