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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Establishment and management of silvopasture in the Southeastern United States
Year: 2002
Author(s): Robinson, J., Hall, M., Brantley, S.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 91
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Silvopasture integrates intensively managed forest overstory with sustained production of well managed, forage understory. With 164 million acres of forest and 19 million acres of pasture in the southeastern United States, there is assuredly a place for the integration of the two. Systems have been implemented in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina with grazing systems under low-density conifer plantings that meet the criteria for "silvopasture". Managers have utilized native, warm-season grass, bahia/clover, bermudagrass/clover, and tall fescue/clover mixes principally for forage. These systems allow trees to be grown as a long-term product while on the same acreage an annual income is generated from grazing livestock. In these silvopasture systems longleaf pine, loblolly pine, or slash pine is grown at low stocking densities (35-300 stems per acre). This allows over half the sunlight to reach the ground for growing forage. Sound forest management in these unique situations require thinning and pruning periodically throughout the rotation in order to maintain the proper light level for sustained forage production. As a result, much higher ratios of wood products fall into the categories of sawtimber or veneer products which are values much more than pulpwood. Greater total production and enterprise diversification advantages may drive the initiation of silvopasture establishment and management throughout the southeast but side benefits can include erosion control, improved animal habitat, and increased carbon sequestration.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall