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Breakout Session C

Designing Silvopasture for Farmstead Goat Dairy/Creamery in Illinois
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Goats prefer getting 60% or more of their diet from browse species. Yet less than 1% of dairy goats in the US graze on conventional pasture, usually without access to browse species. The 99% in confinement are typically fed a monotonous diet of grain and alfalfa/grass hay and are housed in barns with very limited space to move. We know goats thrive on a varied diet that includes trees, shrubs, legumes, forbs, and grasses. We have raised goats on pasture with occasional browse since we founded our farmstead creamery in 2005, Animal Welfare Approved since 2010. We are constructing a state-of-the-art dairy/creamery and expanding our rotational silvopasture systems. These systems of paddocks are planted with (primarily) native woody species alternating with more conventional grass-legume pasture paddocks. Foliar analysis of the woody species planted revealed high nutritional quality providing the goats with a wide variety of dietary choices, from which they apparently make intentional choices, presumably to optimize their health and well-being. Intensive baseline soil analysis of nearly 300 samples over the 70 acre pasture area will allow us to track soil C and nutrient/water relations as the pasture transitions from annual conventional corn and soybeans to silvopasture. Carbon stored in wood will also be monitored using dimensional analysis.

Wesley M. Jarrell, PhD Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Erica Navis Peters, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, LLC

Grazing System (Pasture or Silvopasture) Effects on Ewe Behavior and Physiological Responses
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Managing livestock in silvopasture systems can help reduce heat stress and improve animal behavior and productivity. However, quantifying physiological benefits for animals in pastoral systems is challenging because the sampling procedures require animal handling; this is stressful and elevates plasma cortisol, a stress hormone. Hair cortisol (HC) is a relatively non-invasive and reliable measure of chronic stress, but it has received limited use especially in pasture systems. We compared behavioral and physiological (temperature, hair and blood cortisol) responses of ewes that grazed mid-stage hardwood silvopastures vs. open pastures. The study site consists of 0.27-ha black walnut (Juglans nigra; BW) and honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos; HL) silvopastures and open pasture (OP) treatments, each replicated three times. Thirty-six Katahdin ewes were assigned to one of the treatments for a 6-week summer grazing trial. Ewe weights and intravaginal temperatures were recorded routinely; trail cameras captured animal behavior. Blood was collected via jugular venipuncture; hair grown during the trial was collected from the loin region. Blood and hair cortisol was determined by ELISA. The gains and plasma cortisol levels did not differ among treatments. Ewes on OP had higher HC on Day 21 (P<0.05) and 0.5-1.0 °C hotter (P≤0.04) intravaginal temperatures between 1200h-1500h than ewes on silvopasture treatments. Overall, ewes on OP spent more (P<0.001) time loafing and less (P<0.10) time lying down compared to ewes on silvopasture treatments. Trees within the silvopastures moderated ambient conditions both reducing stress and improving the behavioral and physiological responses of ewes.

Sanjok Poudel, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Aleks Halili, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
John Fike, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Hogs and Hazelnuts: adaptively managing pest spillover in the agricultural-wildland matrix
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Pest spillover from wildlands to farms can create conflict between wildland conservation and agricultural production. For example, the key economic pest of hazelnuts in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the filbertworm (Cydia latiferreana), a moth hosted by the native Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana). Oak stands near hazelnut orchards can sustain source populations that compound pest pressure in hazelnuts throughout the growing season. This dynamic is of conservational concern as historical oak habitat has been imperiled and what remains is almost entirely on private land, often in proximity to hazelnut orchards. Here, we present of a novel strategy to reconcile this conflict by using hogs to reduce pest pressure through prescribed grazing. From 2018 to 2020 we prescribed hog-grazing in early fall to glean filbertworm-infested acorns from an oak woodland floor. Hogs were both highly successful at reducing the total number of infested acorns and the ratio of infested acorns the following year. Despite an oak masting year in 2019, grazing reduced both the emerging and adult mating population of filbertworms the following year. We did not measure significant changes in woodland understory vegetation, suggesting selective hog-grazing may not entail tradeoffs for understory vegetation. Our results demonstrate that prescribed grazing in oak patches can be an effective strategy to reduce filbertworm source populations. By benefiting both conservation and farmers, this novel pest management approach provides a model for similar challenges and conflicts across the agricultural-wildland interface.

Cal Penkauskas, University of Oregon
Alejandro Brambila, University of Oregon
Drew Donahue, University of Oregon
Taylor Larson, My Brothers’ Farm
Betsey Miller, Oregon State University
Lauren Hallett, University of Oregon

Load of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Small Ruminants with or without Leguminous Forages During the Fall Season
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Gastrointestinal (GI) parasites pose a major health problem in small ruminants in the Southeast, including Alabama, because of its warm and humid climate. Provision of leguminous forages in the grazing system of small ruminants maybe helpful to develop resiliency and minimize GI-parasite infestation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of leguminous forages on GI-parasite infestation in small ruminants. The study was conducted at the Browse Research and Demonstration Site at Tuskegee University from August to November 2020. Research plots (10) were randomly allocated to either legume-grass mixture (50:50 mix) or sole-grass plantation. Kiko does (Capra aegagrus hircus) (19) and Katahdin-St. Croix ewes (Ovis aries) (18) were divided into two groups: 1) grass-legume and 2) grass. Each group was rotationally stocked in respective plots for three months. Fecal samples were collected (Day 0, every 14 days during, and at the end of the study) and analyzed for the type and quantity of GI-parasite eggs. Forage samples were collected and analyzed for dry matter. Parasite-egg data were analyzed in GLM procedure and forage data using the Mixed procedure in SAS 9.4. Ewes from group 1 showed lower GI parasite eggs (5±4.1 epg) than Group 2 ewes (15±4.1 epg) (p<0.05). Within group 1, ewes had lower parasite eggs versus does (92%; p<0.0001). Findings of this study imply that use of leguminous forages can be beneficial to minimize GI-parasite infestation in small ruminants. Keywords: Kiko does, Katahdin-St. Croix ewes, forage quality, fecal analysis

Ja’Nia Johnson, CAENS, Tuskegee University
Dr. Uma Karki (Advisor), CAENS, Tuskegee University
Anand Tiwari, Tuskegee University
Kendra Norwood, CAENS, Tuskegee University
Dr. Lila Karki, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore


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