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Establishment and Agronomic Productivity of Silvopastoral Systems with Pelibuey Sheep in Yucatan, Mexico
Overview Generate scientific knowledge to allow for the use of leguminous trees into degraded grass pastures for a sustainable animal production in the North-Central region of Yucatan.
Scale Local Region Scale.
Location Conkal (20 59 Latitude North, 89 39 Length West), Yucatan, Mexico
Elevation Elevation 0 to 150 meters.
Climate Tropical Savanna (Aw), cooler uplands stippled.
Agricultural Region G. Plantation Agriculture.
Population Density From 1-10, through 10-25 and 25-50 m-2 from south to north population, respectively.
Principal Crops Henequen (Agave fourcroydes),, Corn (Zea mayz), Orange (Citrus spp.), Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), Star grass (Cynodon nlemfuensis), Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala), Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium), Pich (Enterolobium cyclocarpum).
Domestic Animals Chicken, Pig , Cattle (Bos indicus), Sheep (Ovis ovis), Goat, Horse.
Soils M3 Rendolls (Formed on highly calcareous parent materials (Rendzina, refer to great soils group terminally).
Natural Vegetation Broadleaf deciduous (Ds), shrub forms minimum height of 3 feet.
Ecoregion Savanna (Tr1) province, seasonally dry forest open woodland, tall grass.
Basic Principles addressed Use Renewable Resources, Minimize Toxics, Conserve Resources, Manage Ecological Relationships, Adjust to Local Environments, Diversify, Empower People, Manage Whole Systems, Maximize Long-Term Benefits, Value Health
Page Author and Date Jose G. Escobedo-Mex, 2001



In the Yucatan, the edaphic characteristics which prevent soil mechanization and the climate conditions, in particular the long dry season, have limited the development of efficient technologies to allow for the use of silvopastoral systems. This is despite the fact that the region is considered the origin of many tree legume species, such as Leucaena leucocephala. It has been shown that forage legumes improve the nutritive value of animal diets, increase the biomass availability to the system and fix nitrogen in the soil (NAS, 1979). The low quality of the tropical grass pasture has forced animal producers to incorporate concentrates in their animals' diets. However, this is becoming an uneconomic practice, due to dramatic increase in the costs of the diet ingredients. Also, to be able to increase biomass production, farmers apply N fertilizer, which is becoming more expensive and is a potential hazard to the environment (through leaching into aquifers). 


lessons learned

In the North-Central region of the Yucatan, there is limited knowledge about the introduction and utilization of forage legumes under grazing conditions. Most of the local research that has been undertaken in other systems, such as those based on grass-legumes, could be an attractive option for the rural areas of the Yucatan. The present project is designed to determine the appropriate agricultural management practices to rehabilitate degraded pastures through the introduction of the best suited forage legumes, and to favor the persistence of the association under grazing conditions.