International Silvopasture Congress, Uruguay

Hey all,

I recently went down to Argentina and Uruguay, for the Argentine Silvopasture Congress and International Silvopasture Congress in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Attendees totaled 500 or so, between the two conferences. A few high-level takeaways: 

1. The room was full of agronomists, more so than ecologists. The discussion is very matter-of-fact and pragmatic, in that silvopasture is an established, financially-beneficial practice there. The discussion does not center on an appeal to ecology, but rather to economy. Silvopasture practitioners there are more conservative than "the room" is in the US.

2. They are roughly 20 years ahead of us in terms of silvopasture establishment, management, and livestock integration. *Small* subsidies and reforestation mandates brought cattlemen/ranchers/farmers to plant the minimum number of stems required across their farms. Wide spacing = better grass growth and cattle weight gain on hot days, and the practice caught on. 

3. They differentiate between trees-planted-in-pasture and forest-thinned-with-cattle-added in the following way:
a. "Silvopastoreo/Sistemas Silvopastoriles" usually refers to a widely-spaced forest plantation that is optimized for cattle and trees.
b. "MBGI, Manejo de Bosque con Ganadería Integrada" translates to "Management of Forests with Livestock Integrated." I think the acronym "Forest Livestock Integration" or "FLINT" sounds good, but I'm open to other acronyms. This refers to thinning forest or scrubland to be grazed.

I've drafted an article on the conference that I'll post here when it's ready. Happy to answer any questions in the meantime.

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