What is Silvopasture?

A silvopasture system (SPS) combines and integrates trees, forage plants and pasture. These are complex systems with a wide array of benefits, compared to timber or pastures alone. It creates an environment where the different systems can be developed to their full economic potential.

Silvopasture offers a range of benefits to individual farms, to society and to the global community. These can provide good incentives for government, industry and society to better support and encourage silvopasture as a practice.

Silvopastoral practices offer multiple benefits for timber growers, forest landowners, and livestock producers.

Adding a livestock production component:

  • Creates a stable source of cash flow with earlier returns than primary or secondary forest products
  • Creates a portfolio, as more products are available for trade
  • Ads a long-term investment in timber while maintaining forage production, providing more income than grazing alone
  • Provision of feed for beef cattle by forage base which ultimately can be sold to generate short-term income
  • Diversifies farm income
  • Minimizes chemical and mechanical vegetation control
  • Reduces hay and feeding costs for livestock
  • Nitrogen-fixing forage species, pasture fertilization and animal manure all help improve the soil and tree nutrition. Grazing controls competing brush and reduces fire hazard.
  • The result is greater timber yield.
  • Trees create a sheltered microclimate to protect animals from heat and cold.
  • The shelter also improves forage quality and lengthens its growing season. The prunings of some trees can also be used as fodder, specially from nitrogen fixating species.
  • The result is better livestock growth and better animal welfare. Some trees will produce fruits or nuts, that can be traded or contribute to the household food security, or even to feed the cattle.

Silvopastoral systems have a positive impact on the environment: 

  • Wildlife habitat is created as the silvopasture system is much more biodiverse.
  • A silvopasture system has more carbon fixating capacity that traditional pastures.
  • Improves water quality
  • Increases wildlife diversity (e.g. quail, turkey)
  • Reduces wind and water erosion due to forage
  • Improves soil properties due to added organic matter by forage
  • Provides an attractive and aesthetical landscape

We’ve been integrating landscape multi-use systems from the start

FORLIANCE is using the Afforestation and Reforestation methodologies form Verified Carbon Standard and Gold Standard to calculate the carbon stocks in these systems, namely in the tree component.

We have been extensively working with landscape approaches and landscape multi-use systems since the beginning, and has a lot of in-house expertise regarding these kind of complex Afforestation and Reforestation systems. We are mostly experienced in agroforestry, with some projects including the production of coffee and cacao, but also with silvopasture.

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Uschi Dellian
Manager HR & Office