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Developing a Conservation Practice Standard using Goats to Control Woody Invasive Plant Species in West Virginia Hill Pastures

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Abstract:

Situation:
Appalachian hill pastures have several invasive weedy species that limits the productive potential of these areas. Conventional methods to control these weedy species typically include chemical herbicides and or mechanical mowing. The undulating topography and steep slopes of West Virginia pastures makes these conventional control treatments difficult to accomplish. The benefits of using Goats to control woody invasive species in pasture systems have been well documented but adoption by cattle and sheep producers in West Virginia has been limited. Two factors reduce the adoption of goats to manage and eliminate invasive weedy species in West Virginia Livestock operations. One is the threat of predation from dogs and coyotes, the other are adequate fencing systems to contain goats in the targeted grazing areas. A new portable fence system is now available that combines electric netting panels with solar powered energizers. This fencing system should alleviate the predation and containment concerns that have inhibited livestock producers from adding goats to their grazing systems. This step in electric fencing system allows the farmer to increase the browsing pressure on the weedy species so the goats can eliminate these plants over a 2-3 year period.

Methods:
A USDA funded project was initiated in 2006 to evaluate the adoption of electric net fence with goats to control invasive weeds in pastures. 18 livestock producers have agreed to cooperate for a 3 year period to determine the suitability of this management system. The agreement includes a cost share requirement. The project supplies the fence system and the farmer agrees to purchase a goat herd of equal or greater value of the fence system. The initial results of this study were the 18 individuals willing to adopt this brush control method.

Results:
Cooperators established treatment areas during fall of 2007. Weed control measurements will be determined this summer and also a survey instrument will determine the initial suitability of this management system for the cooperating farmers. Due to the interest generated by this evaluation project, USDA NRCS in West Virginia added this biological control method to it EQIP Eligible practices for 2008.
Convention
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Association:
Name: SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY
URL:
http://www.swcs.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p271699_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Basden, Tom., Chandran, Rakesh., Teets, Jason. and Teets, Sigrid. "Developing a Conservation Practice Standard using Goats to Control Woody Invasive Plant Species in West Virginia Hill Pastures" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY, TBA, Tucson, Arizona, Jul 26, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p271699_index.html>

APA Citation:

Basden, T. J., Chandran, R. , Teets, J. and Teets, S. , 2008-07-26 "Developing a Conservation Practice Standard using Goats to Control Woody Invasive Plant Species in West Virginia Hill Pastures" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY, TBA, Tucson, Arizona <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p271699_index.html

Publication Type: Poster Presentation
Abstract: Situation:
Appalachian hill pastures have several invasive weedy species that limits the productive potential of these areas. Conventional methods to control these weedy species typically include chemical herbicides and or mechanical mowing. The undulating topography and steep slopes of West Virginia pastures makes these conventional control treatments difficult to accomplish. The benefits of using Goats to control woody invasive species in pasture systems have been well documented but adoption by cattle and sheep producers in West Virginia has been limited. Two factors reduce the adoption of goats to manage and eliminate invasive weedy species in West Virginia Livestock operations. One is the threat of predation from dogs and coyotes, the other are adequate fencing systems to contain goats in the targeted grazing areas. A new portable fence system is now available that combines electric netting panels with solar powered energizers. This fencing system should alleviate the predation and containment concerns that have inhibited livestock producers from adding goats to their grazing systems. This step in electric fencing system allows the farmer to increase the browsing pressure on the weedy species so the goats can eliminate these plants over a 2-3 year period.

Methods:
A USDA funded project was initiated in 2006 to evaluate the adoption of electric net fence with goats to control invasive weeds in pastures. 18 livestock producers have agreed to cooperate for a 3 year period to determine the suitability of this management system. The agreement includes a cost share requirement. The project supplies the fence system and the farmer agrees to purchase a goat herd of equal or greater value of the fence system. The initial results of this study were the 18 individuals willing to adopt this brush control method.

Results:
Cooperators established treatment areas during fall of 2007. Weed control measurements will be determined this summer and also a survey instrument will determine the initial suitability of this management system for the cooperating farmers. Due to the interest generated by this evaluation project, USDA NRCS in West Virginia added this biological control method to it EQIP Eligible practices for 2008.

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