U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version

February 2005


Published by National Agroforestry Center, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Station, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, East Campus – UNL, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0822.


Silvopasture is an agroforestry system that combines grazing livestock with growing trees for a timber product. Creating small, fenced paddocks and rotating cattle builds in "recovery periods" for the forage and protects the soil and trees. In a silvopastoral system, grazing recovery periods can only be achieved when well-designed livestock water supplies and cross fences are used. Fortunately, technological advances in livestock water system design and fence materials have helped to create a feasible working environment where rotating livestock from one silvopasture paddock to another can be both convenient and affordable. However, some special considerations must be given to water and fencing in a silvopasture system.