Forage nutritive value in an emulated silvopasture

Alicia L. Buergler, John H. Fike, James A. Burger, Charles M. Feldhake, James R. McKenna, Chris D. Teutsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Incorporating trees into pastures may alter forage nutritive value. The objective of this study was to determine nutritive value in response to trees and slope position in an emulated (no animals) silvopasture. In 1995, black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) and honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) trees were planted within three block plots of predominantly tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.) pasture. Soils on the site, (Unison and Braddock) are fine, mixed mesic Typic Hapludults, well drained, with moderately steep slopes (10-25%). Trees were planted down slopes in rows to create low-, medium-, and high-tree densities at shoulder-, mid-, and toe-slope positions. Forage from sampling sites (n = 54) under field treatment combinations was harvested May, June, and July in 2002 and 2003. Concentrations of neutral and acid detergent fiber (NDF, ADF), acid detergent lignin (ADL), crude protein (CP), total non-structural carbohydrate (TNC) and Ca, P, Mg, and K were determined. Few differences due to treatment were observed for NDF and ADF concentrations. Concentrations of TNC decreased with greater tree density and appeared to follow tree leaf growth. Crude protein concentrations were typically greater under honey locust trees. Forage mineral concentrations frequently were greater with increased tree density. Trees appear to have both positive and negative effects on forage nutritive value, and their effects on animal performance warrants further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1273
Number of pages9
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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