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By Abbi RossU of A System Division of Agriculture
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — There is increasing interest in planting forages into wooded
areas, as food plots for wildlife or to provide more grazing ground for cattle, said
Dirk Philipp, associate professor of animal science for the University of Arkansas
System Division of Agriculture.
For those who own land and are looking to establish forage areas, there are a few
steps that help make the process easier, Philipp said.
“It might be best to contract a professional forester to evaluate land and give recommendations
on which trees have value and which do not,” Philipp said about those looking to establish
new forages in wooded areas.
Most of Arkansas’ native forest are comprised of hardwoods, like oak. In the southern
regions, pine is more common.
Preparing the site and testing soil fertility is a must, Philipp said. Fertilization
decisions should be based on soil test recommendations, available from local county
Extension offices. One option for landowners is to burn the sites. Burning helps remove
underbrush and prepare the soil surface to be worked.
Planting options depend on the landowners situation, but many landowners’ only choice
is broadcasting grass seed.
“Planting can be done with a broadcast seeder on the back of an ATV or with a small
tractor and a planter that is narrow enough to navigate around the remaining trees,”
Philipp said. “Brillion seeders work well too.”
There are a variety of forage species for landowners to choose from, Philipp said.
Cool season perennial and annual grasses work well. Orchardgrass, tall fescue and
annual ryegrass are all possible options, as well as some annual clovers.
Annual legumes may have to be reseeded every year for grazing purposes, Philipp said.
If the landowner can afford to let annual legumes develop seed, chances are good that
annual legumes will be present for a long time, Philipp said.
To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uark.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearchand Instagram at ArkAgResearch.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Fred MillerU of A Division of AgricultureArkansas Agricultural Experiment Station(479) firstname.lastname@example.org