|Neel, James - Jim|
Submitted to: Proceedings of the Annual Appalachian Opportunities Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2009
Publication Date: 7/27/2009
Citation: Neel, J.P., Belesky, D.P. 2009. Silvopasture: a natural choice. In: Morales, M., editor. Improving Small Ruminant Grazing Practices. Proceedings of the Appalachian Small Ruminant Grazing Workshop, July 11, 2009, Beaver, West Virginia. p. 15-20.
Technical Abstract: The Appalachian region is one of the most beautiful areas of the world. The mosaic of open areas (pasture and hayfields) and forestland is very productive in terms of animal and timber products. Livestock production can be improved through better herbage and animal management with Appalachian farmers being most adept at both. Woodlot management can increase economic return, species diversity, and farm aesthetics especially through the introduction of sustainable forage species. Silvopasture must have adequate solar radiation reaching ground level to ensure maximized production and quality herbage. Once established, silvopasture with similar fertility management and total diameter at breast height (DBH) values of approximately 50 to 65 feet per acre will produce about 60% the dry matter of open pasture. 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 herbage nutrient profiles between pasture types may prove to be advantageous from an animal production and environmental standpoint. Research is currently being conducted to develop management strategies.