77054 Developing Sustainable Agroforestry Systems for Small and Limited Resource Farmers in South-East US.

Poster Number 18

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Sunday, February 3, 2013
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Christina Igono, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL
Agroforestry systems can be used to manage, maintain and develop the ecosystem with the aim of achieving agricultural and economic growth which also help in sustaining the environment. Agroforestry systems help in mitigating the negative effect of agriculture such as land degradation by erosion and desertifcation, while maintaining soil fertility and promoting nutrient recycling. Environmental benefits of agroforestry include promoting carbon sequestration and reducing soil emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The long-term goal of this project is to develop and evaluate silvopasture systems for sustainable production of sheep (Ovis aries) in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation in order to increase productivity and profitability on small and medium size limited resource farms in the southeastern United States. The objective of this study is to assess environmental sustainability of silvopasture systems by measuring the impact of grazing, forage production and management practices on indicators of soil quality, productivity and sustainability. The study is located at the Winfred Thomas Agricultural Experiment Station, Hazel Green Alabama (latitude 34o 89’ N and longtitude 86o56’ W), in the Tennessee Valley region of north Alabama. The soil at the study site is a Decatur silt loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic, Rhodic Paleudult). The plots are fenced into 1acre paddocks and 10 sheep/acres will be placed in each designated grazing treatments. Soil data collected are analyzed for pH, NH4-N, NO3-N, nitrogen, carbon, moisture, temperature and CO2 fluxes. Baseline results of soil properties before liming, addition of fertilizers and sheep will be presented in this paper. Animal grazing in a loblolly pine plantation without additional soil management practises is anticipated to improve soil fertility through nutrient recycling and C sequestration which will make silvopasture system both environmentally and economically sustainable.
See more from this Division: Submissions
See more from this Session: Graduate Student Poster Soils