- Associated Press - Saturday, July 30, 2016

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - Cows will be dining among the trees in Durham as part of a University of New Hampshire project that combines forestry and grazing of domesticated animals.

The practice, which is relatively new to the region, is known as silvopasture and involves managing timber, livestock and the food for grazing animals on the same property. Researchers have created a 2.5 -acre silvopasture at the UNH Organic Dairy Research Farm, and plan to compare it to a recently established open pasture, a long-term permanent pasture and abutting forested land.

The goal is to provide more region-specific information for livestock producers who are interested in creating their own silvopasture systems. Officials say the practice is appealing because it allows farms with limited pasture land to expand their base without needing to completely clear a section of forested land.

“Our project seeks to quantify the benefits as well as trade-offs associated with the establishment of silvopasture systems in our region to ensure that New England’s agricultural future remains as sustainable as possible,” said Richard Smith, assistant professor of agroecology.

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