Many producers in the five-county area around Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, are limited-resource part-time producers with less than 200 acres. A small-scale farming system that would allow these farmers to maximize their farm income is needed. Some farmers are attempting to develop a sustainable farming system through the use of grazed goats for meat and cashmere.
Internal parasites are one of the major causes of death in grazed goats. Anthelmintics are a major cost factor in raising goats since many operators de-worm their goats on a monthly basis. This project aims to reduce the use of, and expenditure for, anthelmintics and to use rotational grazing to help lower intestinal parasites in goats.
Seasonal legumes and rotational grazing will be used to reduce off-farm expenditures for forage and high protein supplements. Rotational grazing will also reduce the parasite load and decrease the frequency of anthelmintic use. When this is coupled with timed kid production, heavier kids and the “high-value” seasonal meat markets, the overall economic efficiency of the farming operation will be improved.
In this project, the producer intends to: (1) determine ways to efficiently harvest cashmere; (2) improve net return to producers from the marketing of “value-added” cashmere; (3) reduce off-farm expenditures for forage and high protein supplements; (4) improve economic efficiency of the farm enterprise; and (5) time kid production to capture “high-value” seasonal markets.