Extending Forage Season with Multi-functional Browse Islands

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2006: $8,560.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:
Juvia Judd
Lazy M Suris
Deborah Berman
Lazy M Suris


  • Additional Plants: native plants


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing - multispecies, housing
  • Crop Production: agroforestry, forestry
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, hedgerows, hedges - woody
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal summary:

    The goal of this project is to install a hedgerow and island agri-forestry polyculture in a pasture grazing system used by alpacas and llamas on Lazy M Suris near Moscow. The idea is to extend the forage season and to serve as a model for diversified ecological small farm production. A backbone planting of hybrid poplar and willow with peashrub, interplanted with nut trees, hardwoods, woody shrubs and some forbs, will provide a nutritious browse rotation for the animals. It will also extend the forage season in the spring before grass emerges and after mid July when a pasture not irrigated goes dormant. The browse islands might also provide shade and wind protection for grazing animals, retain moisture, fix nitrogen and provide nesting and cover for pheasant and quail found on the farm. In addition, the nut trees will provide a harvestable crop, and the hardwoods will provide material for growing mushrooms and making cabinets. The system is intended be a model adaptable to small farms raising conventional livestock.

    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.