Date of Graduation

Spring 2021

Degree

Master of Science in Agriculture

Department

College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

William McClain

Keywords

agroforestry, silvopasture, forage, grazing, soil health, beef cattle, management intensive grazing

Subject Categories

Agriculture

Abstract

The Missouri Ozarks is located in the south-central part of Missouri, ranging from the very southwest corner of the state and east to St. Louis. This region is enriched with large dense populations of oak and hickory tree species, while also being occupied with prime forage pastures for livestock grazing. Missouri is ranked second in the nation for farming operations and hay production, while also third in the nation for beef cow number of head (MDA 2021). The objective of this study is to observe the establishment of two separate silvopasture systems: a planted walnut plantation and a converted silvopasture. In the summer of 2020, soil samples were collected, along with soil moisture and soil temperature from the two silvopasture sites located at the Missouri State University Journagan Ranch in Douglas County, Missouri. Plant species transects and tree canopy density were observed within the converted silvopasture stand located on the ranch. Bray I phosphorus (P) and soil pH were measured within the Missouri State University Agriculture lab. The plantation and converted silvopasture sites showed very low available Bray I P within their stands, but overall a suitable pH for forage production. The converted silvopasture was seeded with a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), and orchardgrass (Dactyliz glomerata) seed mix in April of 2020. The converted stand’s forage plant species transects were taken September 22, 2020. The transects showed one-third bare soil, one-third grassy weeds and one-third desirable forage species throughout the converted silvopasture stand. These findings suggest that possible fertilizer application may be needed to allow for more available Bray I P lbs/ac and for the converted stand, another forage seeding should be applied along with a weed management plant. This observational study established the baseline data for soil properties and species densities for future studies that will be conducted within these silvopasture sites. The long-term goals are to observe multiple years of soil fertility and health under management intensive grazing (MiG), observe plant species diversity, provide best management practices to livestock producers regarding silvopasture establishment and provide data to USDA-NRCS on these site specific silvopasture establishment located in the Missouri Ozarks.

Copyright

© Kara Lynn Powelson

Open Access

Included in

Agriculture Commons

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