Trees in Livestock Systems, continued
Pasture Improvement. Trees in pastures can enhance livestock production in two ways. First, trees can increase available animal food by increasing grass production within the field, and providing fodder directly (leaves and pods). Second, the livestock benefit from shade, as they digest food more efficiently when shade is available, particularly in hot climates.
As in wide row intercropping, trees are allowed to grow to large sizes. Wide planting arrangements are suggested for planting within pastures, because grass productivity will decrease with too much shade. It is suggested that trees be planted along the contours, so the pasture can be easily converted to crops without removing the trees.
A wide variety of trees have been used for pasture improvement, but a few genera stand out, particularly ones that shed edible, nutritious pods and/or leaves. These genera include: Acacia, Albizia, Alnus, Enterolobium, Gliricidia, Leucaena, and Prosopis.