Agroforestry: growing trees with crops and/or livestock on the same land

Silvopasture: grazing livestock and growing trees on the same land

Two income streams: cattle (short term); timber (long-term)

A possible third: enhanced wildlife habitat

Like many other southern cattle producers, the Kerr Center has large pastures kept clear of trees for hay and forage production.

During hot weather, cattle do not graze well in unshaded areas.

Establishing trees in pastures provides shade for cattle and improves grazing. It also helps to remove excess water, which can be a limiting factor for high quality forage.


Establishment methods

  • Plant on contour
  • Deep mulch: mow and rake, or unroll a round hay bale
  • Planting into mulch minimizes weed competition and keeps water in soil
  • Rip a furrow: deep furrow channels runoff to seedling roots & reduces erosion


Learn more about forests in the southern United States:

Agroforestry News & Publications

  • agroforestry pollinators

    Agroforestry Boosts Pollinator Numbers, Research Shows

    Agroforestry practices could double the number of insect pollinators helping farmers produce food, new research has demonstrated.

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  • wildfire preparedness

    Wildfire Preparedness

    Numerous free resources are readily available to help each and every one of us increase our wildfire preparedness. Find out what you can do today!

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  • agroforestry infographics

    Agroforestry Infographics

    The Savanna Institute recently released a new series of free infographics explaining concepts in agroforestry: alley cropping, forest farming, riparian buffers, silvopasture, and windbreaks.

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  • ATTRA Podcast: Opportunities in Agroforestry

    As part of its “Voices from the Field” podcast series, ATTRA recently included an interview between Luke Freeman, horticulture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and Hannah Hemmelgarn, the education program coordinator at…

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  • President’s Note: Agroforestry

    Agroforestry has been an interest of mine for many years. Just what is agroforestry? It is the combining of trees and crops or livestock on the same area. The trees can be for timber production,…

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  • Water Bars

    Last month’s newsletter mentioned the installation of experimental water bars on some of the roads around the Kerr Ranch. Despite the sound of it, these are not swank joints where thirsty loggers and ranch hands…

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  • Livestock Welfare and Performance in Silvopastures

    via the Association for Temperate Agroforestry: One benefit commonly claimed for silvopasture is that livestock grazing in hot weather will gain more weight in pastures with trees than in full sun. This is because they…

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  • Too Wet? Too Dry? Silvopasture Can Make it Just Right

    An recent article on agroforestry served as an excellent illustration of the way that silvopasture can turn problem fields into prime pastures. The land in question, a floodplain site at a North Carolina State University…

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  • New Pollinator Publications from National Agroforestry Center

    The National Agroforestry Center has developed a number of publications that describe the role agroforestry can play in supporting pollinators. “How can agroforestry help pollinators?” is a two-page information sheet that highlights opportunities to recognize,…

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  • Agroforestry Practices

    This report covers general concepts and approaches in agroforestry. It includes references, a reading list, tables of planting distances, and a list of tree species suitable for southeastern Oklahoma.

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