Many landowners in Alabama work to keep their land in the best shape possible for future generations, and agroforestry practices help some of those landowners meet this goal. According to an Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) release, one of the most recognized forms of agroforestry is the practice of establishing silvopasture systems.
Alabama Extension Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Specialist, Becky Barlow, says silvopasture allows landowners to manage timber, livestock and forage on the same acre. The three goals associated with this practice are:
- Optimizing timber, livestock and forage components
- Improving cashflow through annual income from livestock and forage
- Securing long-term income from timber
“Silvopasture systems in the southeastern United States are often composed of pine trees in the overstory planted on a double or triple row set with a wide alley between them in which forage grows,” Barlow said.
Establishing silvopasture systems provides multiple benefits to landowners and the land. Rotational gazing improves forage production while also limiting compaction to the soil as livestock tend to spread across sites. It can serve as a way to restore ecosystems and filter runoff for improved water quality.
For more information on the configuration and benefits of silvopasture systems, visit aces.edu.