Even before commercially thinning ~80 acres of the woods on our farm, I had come to appreciate the challenges of controlling the vegetative response to letting in more sunlight.
In open pastures, the grazier can readily mow, spray or even till and re-seed to deal with noxious weeds and invasive brush. But livestock impact is often the only practical tool for managing vegetation in tree-covered silvopastures. Consequently, silvopasturing relies on intensive rotation of higher…Continue
This forum unintentionally drew an initial concentration of members from the northeastern US, though many folks have since joined from other parts of the country and globe (welcome!). Silvopasturing practices certainly need to be customized to the local area and situation, but the principals remain largely the same no matter where working trees and livestock are raised together in a sustainable manner.
In hopes of broadening discussions, participation and what we can learn from…Continue
I've had the best of intentions to be more active on this forum this summer to share my thoughts and experiences with a recent "low grade" timber harvest at our farm to promote silvopasture development. The harvest wrapped-up a few weeks ago, and I just returned from quick trip to Argentina. With that behind me, it's time to get some pictures and storied up about the project. But first, as a bit of background, I've pasted below an article that I was asked to write for the current edition…Continue
Peter and I recently had the opportunity to present a day-long workshop on silvopasturing at the Stone Barns Center in the lower Hudson Valley. The Stone Barns Center (www.stonebarnscenter.org) is located on the former Rockefeller dairy farm, and today serves as a showcase of "sustainable food systems". …Continue
Thank you to the 40+ who were able to attend the workshop last Friday in McVeytown. The handouts used for the workshop are attached below as .pdf files. -- BrettContinue
Added by Brett Chedzoy on June 14, 2013 at 12:11pm — No Comments
During the "silvopasture day course" trainings last August, we expressed the need to reduce forest stand stocking levels to about 60 sq. ft./acre of basal area (approximately 50% relative density, depending on the stand type) in order to achieve "good" forage productivity of the more shade tolerant cool season grasses. For more information on this, refer to the .pdf file attachment titled "Creating Quality Silvopastures" from the August blog post on the day courses - or read the section on…Continue
Added by Brett Chedzoy on March 15, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments
60 people attended "Working Trees in Agricultural Landscapes: An Introduction to Agroforestry" on November 16th at the USDA NRCS Plant Materials Center in Big Flats, NY (and 120 people attended the 3rd annual Cover Crops Field Day at the PMC on the prior day!) This inaugural agroforestry event at the PMC featured NRCS soil health advocate Ray Archuleta. Some of Ray's key messages throughout the two days were: "Farm in the image of Nature"; "Feed the soil"; and "Nature hates monocultures". …Continue
Added by Brett Chedzoy on November 20, 2012 at 10:30am — No Comments
Thank you to everyone who attended the two "Silvopasture Day Courses" at Black Queen Angus Farm in Berlin, NY on August 24th, and at Wellscroft Fence Company in Harrisville, NH on August 25th. Also, thank you to the Hudson-Mohawk RC&D Council, the Granite State Graziers, NY GLCI, Albany CCE, Albany SWCD and others for helping to organize and make those events possible!
85 graziers, foresters and agency folks participated in the two workshops. This was the first time that we have…Continue
Added by Brett Chedzoy on September 14, 2012 at 3:38pm — No Comments
I was recently asked the following questions regarding animal and tree species for silvopastures:
"... is silvopasture just suitable to beef breeds? Or would dairy and dual purpose breeds be equally suited to Silvopasture? I was also wondering about tree species composition. Obviously allelopathic species like Black Walnut are not conducive to growing good forage, but could you use a super dense Hemlock grove for a living barn (relying on hay for feed…Continue
A friend recently inquired if it would be possible to convert her low site-index oak/white pine woods into silvopatures to expand the grazeable acreage on her cattle farm. Most any site can be managed to grow forages and browse for livestock grazing, but not every site can grow enough food to make the investment worthwhile. Another consideration is the senstivitiy of the site, particularly in the case of steep slopes or poorly drained…Continue
Added by Brett Chedzoy on February 6, 2012 at 11:08am — No Comments