Silvopasture for forage, cattle and trees

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $9,995.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants, trees, ornamentals
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, range improvement, grazing - rotational, housing, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, on-farm/ranch research, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: wildlife, hedges - woody
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, public participation, community services, employment opportunities, social networks

    Proposal summary:

    In order to sustain the economic viability of the farm operation over the long term, we must have more than one way to make a living from the land. I feel that silvopasture will make the most efficient use of my farm resources and add another cash crop to my farm operation. My goal is to plant pine trees in different variations of rows and clusters in order to maintain the original pasture while creating a new income enhancing crop on the land. These trees will also enhance my present operation by providing shade and shelter for my cattle.

    Planting trees on this pasture area will increase the water quality on my farm by reducing erosion along creek banks and ponds. Perhaps the most important goal of this project is to educate the small farming community and other limited resource farmers about the benefits of planting trees on pasture land.

    I plan to optimize rather than maximize the production of cattle, lumber and forage. The first few years I will cultivate the trees and cut the hay for winter forage for the cattle. After the trees are a viable size I will use the pasture for the cattle in the summer. This will maximize my opportunities to improve the economic value of my land. In this way I will show how introducing silvopasture will diversify farm enterprises.

    I plan to hold a Field Day to educate local cattle farmers about the opportunity of incorporating trees into their cattle farm, creating several cash crops, and maintaining their current farming operation. I will also develop flyers to be used at farm meetings.

    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.