- Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
- Nuts: walnuts
- Animals: bovine
- Animal Production: feed/forage
- Crop Production: agroforestry
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension
- Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, whole farm planning
- Production Systems: holistic management
Agroforestry silvopastural systems are not a new concept. Orchardists have long grazed livestock among their mature trees during seasons when the animals were not a threat to the fruit crop. Southern pecan growers commonly graze cattle among mature native trees.
However, there has been little experience with grazing livestock among young trees in plantations of nut trees. Almost nothing has been recorded about the potential damage animals would inflict on the trees at various stages of growth.
With the support from a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant and in cooperation with the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri, a research and demonstration project was initiated in 1999.
Although the primary objective of the project was to determine the amount and type of damage cattle would inflict on a black walnut plantation, two secondary objectives also were included. One was closely related to the damage aspect by measuring compaction from cattle traffic in grazed areas versus non-grazed areas. The other objective was to demonstrate potential profitability of such a silvopastoral practice and compare it with production of hay between the tree rows.