- Animals: goats
- Animal Production: range improvement
- Farm Business Management: feasibility study
- Pest Management: biological control
This planning grant proposed to put meat goat producers, landowners with brush invasion, extension personnel, and researchers together to determine:
1. Is there an interest in controlling brush by natural means, especially using goat and hair sheep browsing/grazing?
2. Which invasive species are problematic?
3. Are there questions, both in terms of the farming systems as well as of a plant/animal interface nature, that need to be researched before these enterprises can flourish?
The plan was to facilitate farmer, extension and researcher exchange of information at three locations, namely south-central Georgia, St. Croix and north-central Texas. At these exchanges, it would be determined whether further research was needed and what issues needed to be addressed by this research.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
1. Evaluate farmer perception of intensive, short duration goat browsing (ISDGB): this was accomplished, with the perception being positive.
2. Review whether ISDGB methodology already exists: yes, it does although not at a for-hire basis using goats or hair sheep in the 5 regions represented in the study.
3. Design on-farm experiments to test ISDGB: this has been accomplished only in general terms, and the teams (goat-owners, landowners, researchers) are in place to look at greater detail at five states/territories in the southern SARE region.
4. Increase awareness of ISDGB: this was accomplished and will expand when the web site and extension fact sheets are complete.
5. Develop a full research proposal on ISDGB: this was accomplished and grant R&E LS05-175 (2005-2008) covering ISDGB efforts in Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, St. Croix and Texas, was funded by Southern SARE.