Tree fodder: food for thought?Category: News
2 August 2017
Does tree fodder have a role to play in today’s livestock farming in the UK?
Traditionally, tree fodders have been important for ruminant nutrition, and still remain significant in some European farming systems, particularly in the south. There is growing interest from some farmers in exploiting browse as an extra resource from trees planted for other purposes such as preventing soil erosion or providing shelter. Tree leaves may offer an alternative source of dietary protein, as well as trace elements such as zinc and copper. In addition, secondary compounds such as salicylic acid and tannins may offer health benefits, such as pain relief and reduced parasites. But can tree fodder realistically be incorporated into modern agricultural practices? ORC held a workshop to explore this question at Elm Farm in May. Here are reports, presentations and videos from the day.
- Introduction – trees and livestock (Jo Smith, ORC)
- How trees can affect animal behaviour (Lindsay Whistance, ORC)
- Benefits of plant tannins on ruminant nutrition, health & environment (Sokratis Stergiadis & Irene Mueller-Harvey, University of Reading)
- Fodder pollards (Helen Read, Burnham Beeches & Stoke Common)
- Shropshire agroforestry project (Peter Aspin, The Hollies)
- Agroforestry innovations (Ian Knight, Abacus Agri)