Grazing Sheep in Organic Lowbush Blueberry Fields to Control Weeds and Increase Yields

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2002: $3,602.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:


  • Fruits: berries (other)
  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: sheep


  • Animal Production: grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: fertigation
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, agricultural finance
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, prevention
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Organic blueberries are a significant crop, but yields are low because of weeds. The farmer will graze sheep in a rotation in the blueberries during a non-bearing year to see if this will suppress or perhaps control the weeds. The weed populations will be compared to weeds in an untreated control plot; the following year, when the blueberries are bearing fruit, yield will be measured to see if there are changes brought on by decreased weed pressure and increased fertility from sheep manure. Results will be reported to growers’ associations and extension, and the farmer will host a workshop and demonstration at the farm.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.