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



Date of this Version

June 2008


Published by USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC), East Campus – UNL, Lincoln, NE 68583-0822. Website http://www.unl.edu/nac


Silvopasture integrates trees, livestock, and forage into a single system on one site.

These components diversify income sources. Annual income from grazing and long-term profits from trees respond to different market pressures and reduce risk when combined in the same operation.

Shade from the trees lengthens the forage growing season and improves forage quality. It also increases the comfort level for livestock which reduces stress.

The structure and plant diversity of silvopastures is attractive to many wildlife species including wild turkey, quail, deer, and many songbirds.

Silvopastures are inherently sustainable systems. They increase biological diversity, protect water quality, reduce soil erosion, and improve the water holding capacity of the soil.

Other benefits include natural insect control, opportunities for recreational activities like hunting and bird watching, and enhanced aesthetics and property values.

Silvopasture is becoming an important land-management strategy on many farms and ranches in the southeastern United States. It is becoming more important on farms and ranches where coniferous trees exist in other parts of the country as well.