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Tree Leaf Fodder for Livestock

Transitioning Farm Woodlots to ‘Air Meadow’ for Climate Resilience

June 1, 2020

By Shana Hanson, 2020

This is the final report about a SARE-funded study of pollarding and harvest of tree growth at 3 Streams Farm in Belfast, Maine, to feed livestock. Pollarding is pruning drastically above browse height, cutting close to livestock head-height on top of a clear stem in order to harvest new growth every three to six years for fodder. This 1-acre demonstration plot of “air meadow” fodder production tracked labor involved, and dry matter consumed by a small herd of dairy goats as well as feeding preferences when other livestock sampled pollarded products. The report offers pollarding guidelines with species-specific comments.

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