Rotational grazing as a tool for Christmas tree producers

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2008: $3,966.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: trees, ornamentals
  • Animals: goats, sheep


  • Animal Production: grazing management, grazing - rotational, housing, stocking rate, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: agroforestry, continuous cropping, intercropping, no-till, nutrient cycling, application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop, youth education
  • Energy: energy conservation/efficiency, energy use
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, wildlife
  • Pest Management: competition
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: soil analysis, soil microbiology, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: leadership development, employment opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Grass competes with Christmas trees for nutrients, and using tillage or herbicides to control its growth is not optimal stewardship. The farmer will test the idea of rotating lambs through the tree fields from May to September, thereby reducing mowing and other labor costs and fattening livestock at the same time. By experimenting with stocking densities and rotations, it should also be possible to control tree browse damage. Outreach will be through a producers’ network, pasture walks, and print media.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.