Integration of pines and pastures for hay and grazing
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When combining pine and cattle production on improved pastures, grazing may have to be delayed for several years until trees are large enough to resist injury. During this period forage would be lost unless harvested for hay. This study in south Georgia, USA, examined hay production during the first 3 years, cattle production during the next 3 years, and effects of this management system on survival and growth of slash pine(Pinus elliottii) planted in widely-spaced rows within the pastures.
Pines were planted at 225 trees/ha in configurations of 3.0 x 14.6 or 4.9 x 9.1 m in pastures recently sprigged or seeded with Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) or Pensacola bahiagrass(Paspalum notatum). Pastures were fertilized annually and cut for hay four or five times each year.
Wide-row spacings permitted haying operations, but tree rows and turning areas removed 5 to 8 percent of the area from production. However, hay yields and liveweight gains by yearling cattle were near normal for this locale.
Slash pine planted in these fertilized pastures survived well, grew rapidly, and only a few trees were killed during haying operations. After 6 years, 83 percent of the trees survived and averaged 6.5 m in height and 13.2 cm in diameter. Cattle killed a few trees by rubbing during the 4th year.
Wide-row spacing of pines permits harvesting forage for hay while waiting for the trees to become large enough to permit grazing. This approach to agroforestry produces annual returns to the landowner while awaiting maturity of the pines.
Key wordsagroforestry cattle Pinus elliottii Paspalum notatum Cynodon dactylon pasture pulpwood production
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