By David Burner (USDA-ARS), Larry Campbell (University of Arkansas), & Stephen Meier (Meier HorseShoe Pines)
Silvopasture, the integration of trees, forage plants, and livestock in an intensively-managed system, provides a means of diversifying on-farm income by providing a short-term income from grazing, while trees are grown for longer-term profit. Christmas tree plantations, which are essentially tree rows with vegetated alleys, have the potential to be managed as silvopastures thereby increasing farm diversification, sustainability, production, and profitability. In this article, we summarize the main factors involved in a sheep-based Christmas tree silvopasture system. This management-intensive system requires considerable research and planning before being initiated.