Silvopasture involves the intentional integration of forages, trees, and livestock. These systems are designed and managed in ways that increase productivity on a unit of land by producing both livestock and timber products. Because this takes a high level of management across several disciplines, our team is working to develop and provide knowledge about suitable practices in order to support appropriate adoption and utilization.
Silvopasture, one of five agroforestry
Silvopasture systems offer opportunities to address several production and environmental issues at once. These systems can:
- Increase productivity and resource use efficiencies in pasture systems
- Improve the value of timber stands in degraded/unmanaged woodlots
- Mitigate stress to livestock, buffering animals and forages alike from climatic extremes
- Address environmental concerns, because trees can capture additional nutrients lost from cool-season forages and sequester carbon.
- Reduce livestock use of streams and surface waters for cooling purposes
Adoption of these systems has been slow in the past, partly because producers lack information regarding design, management, productivity, and economic impact – and they have few places to view its implementation. Our team is working to develop research and demonstration sites around the state and to partner with innovative first-adopters to show producers and land owners how these systems might be assembled and managed for greater economic and environmental outcomes.
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|Virginia Silvopasture Research & Demonstration Team|
|Miller Adams||Area Forester||Virginia Department of Forestry, Dan River Work Area|
|J. B. Daniel||Forage & Grassland Agronomist||Natural Resources Conservation Service|
|Adam Downing||Extension Agent, Forestry & Natural Resources||Virginia Cooperative Extension, Northwest District|
|John Fike||Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Forages||Virginia Tech, Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences|
|Jason Fisher||Senior Extension Agent, Forestry & Natural Resources||Virginia Cooperative Extension, Central District|
|Tim Mize||Extension Agent, Ag & Natural Resources||Virginia Cooperative Extension, Fauquier County|
|John Munsell||Associate Professor and Extension Specialist – Forestry||Virginia Tech, Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation|
|Gabriel Pent||Superintendent||Virginia Tech’s Shenandoah Valley Agriculture and Research Extension Center|
- Defining Silvopastures: Integrating Tree Production With Forage-Livestock Systems for Economic, Environmental, and Aesthetic Outcomes
- Creating Silvopastures: Some Considerations When Planting Trees in Pastures
- Creating Silvopastures: Some Considerations When Thinning Existing Timber Stands
- Considerations for Establishing and Managing Silvopastures (PDF | 163KB)
- Silvopasture Case Studies in North Carolina and Virginia (PDF | 819KB)
- Mitigating Heat Stress in Cattle (PDF | 2MB)
- Photo Guide to Northeastern United States Silvopasture
- Silvopasture: Establishment & management principles for pine forests in the Southeastern United States (PDF | 3MB)
- Silvopastures — Some ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ (PDF | 832KB)
- Silvopastures in Southside Virginia (YouTube)
- Silvopasture: Where Forest and Forage Meet (PDF | 5MB)
- Trees in silvopasture are not created equal (PDF | 2MB)
- Virginia Is for Lovers – and Silvopasture
- Wildlife Considerations When Haying or Grazing Native Warm-Season Grasses — University of Tennessee (PDF | 872KB)
- Producer Perspectives PLAYLIST on various Silvopasture aspects
- Whitethorne Agroforestry Research and Demonstration Site at Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm (YouTube)
- Silvopasture for Chickens (aka., SilvoPoultry)
- Shenandoah Valley AREC Field Day 2020 - Establishing Trees in Pasture Stocked with Livestock