Outdoor Services Crew

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goats Graze Noxious Weeds

Goats are used to combat invasive plant species on University owned land.  Facilities Operations uses integrated management to control noxious weeds.  Goats graze on undesirable plants and are quite tolerant of the worst offenders.  Combined with techniques like mechanical, chemical, and cultural efforts, goat grazing has proven to be effective.  Grazing is performed prior to seed production in the late spring/early summer.  In addition, a re-grazing is done in the late summer/early fall. 
Grazing efforts are focused in native areas that contain protected wetlands where treatment options are limited.  Goats digest and kill weed seeds while providing natural fertilizer as they graze.  The herd can number from 200-450 depending on the grazing area.  Herding dogs are used to move the goats between target grazing areas.