Controlling Common Tansy with Sheep

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $3,422.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Idaho
Principal Investigator:


  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, preventive practices
  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
  • Pest Management: biological control, weed ecology
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, public participation

    Proposal summary:

    Kimberly McConnaghy of Salmon, Idaho, plans to use her Western SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to unleash her flock of sheep on the invasive weed common tansy. This exotic plant, an escaped ornamental, has now invaded ditches and streambanks, threatening ecological health by reducing species diversity along riparian areas and harming economic value by reducing irrigation water for pastures and cropland. McConnaghy said managing common tansy by mowing can be effective but has limited application. Herbicide use is restricted because of the common tansy’s proximity to water. After purchasing a flock of Katahdin hair sheep in 2003 to complement her and her husband’s cow-calf operation, she observed that the sheep preferred common tansy. Finding little information on the impacts the plant may have on her sheep, she decided to conduct on-ranch research to ascertain the impacts of grazing on both sheep and common tansy.

    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.