Goats as a Weed Control Alternative in Small Acreage Ranchettes

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2004: $3,382.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:


  • Agronomic: other, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: goats


  • Animal Production: housing, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, cooperatives, marketing management, feasibility study, value added
  • Pest Management: biological control, competition, field monitoring/scouting, prevention
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, social networks, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    To stem the spread of noxious weeds, particularly Russian knapweed, project coordinator Kyle Christensen proposes to show how weed-eating goats and reseeding can refurbish infested ranchette, farm and grazing land. The Sanpitch Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA), funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, has selected the Hide Away Valley of central Utah to conduct a weed-control demonstration using chemicals, insects and reseeding. Christensen says several landowners have expressed concern about the CWMA’s use of chemicals, prompting him to tackle a 5-acre infested plot using 20 head of goats to beat down and weaken the Russian knapweed, followed by reseeding with desirable grasses and plants to compete with the weakened weeds. If successful, he hopes to contract with local landowners to provide biological weed control, which will bolster income from his turkey operation.

    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.