How to Turn Wooded Sites into Silvopastures (Pastures With Trees!)

Lately folks have been asking for input on how to create pasture from overgrown wood/brush areas. From June of 2017, Brett Chedzoy has your recipe for success. Throughout most humid regions of the US, the landscape is dotted with old farm fields and pastures that today grow trees and shrubs.  In some cases, there are obvious reasons why land was left to revert back to its natural state - too wet, stony or steep. But many of these old field sites also grew back because the farmer no longer had the means or needs to keep the land open. Regardless of the underlying reasons, many of these what now appear to be woodlots (or brushlots, if that’s the image that comes to mind) present ripe opportunity for productive and profitable grazing system expansion – especially when adjacent to existing pasture land, or available in large enough blocks to support a viable grazing operation. There are many variables to consider when evaluating the potential of bringing idle land back into production for grazing.  For starters, the land must be accessible and “fenceable”, have a developable source of water, and be potentially productive enough to offset the necessary investments. If you can’t check “yes” to these questions and there isn’t a reasonable fix, then look elsewhere for the time being.  The next step is to come up with a (simple) plan for what will be done, who will do it, and when.  Making sure there’s a good “why” is also a recommended part of this pla

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