Vines And Ovines: Benefits of Target Grazing to Sheep and Vineyard Industries

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2014: $14,991.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Jaime Irwin
Kaos Sheep Outfit

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: grapes
  • Animals: sheep


  • Animal Production: grazing management, grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: cover crops
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Production Systems: holistic management, organic agriculture, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities

    Proposal summary:

    This project is designed to initiate scientific research that supports the symbiotic relationship between vineyard and sheep management. The project investigates the environmental and economic impacts of target sheep grazing as a sustainable agricultural practice in vineyard management. It will specifically look at soil health, vineyard floor management, grape production and Virginia Creeper Leafhopper populations in vineyard plots that are grazed and ungrazed.

    Currently many vineyards use cover crops to increase soil health as a sustainable agricultural practice. The cover crops require addition fossil fuels for mowing and tilling. These crops could provide high quality feed for sheep. Historically sheep have grazed on government lands, but that is changing. In order for the sheep industry to survive we must look at other feed sources. As fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides and water become increasingly expensive and scarce, vineyard managers will need to decrease their reliance on limited resources.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Plot Design
    Soil Health and Carbon Sequestering
    Virginia Creeper Leafhopper Data Collection
    Grape Production Measurement
    Vineyard Floor Management
    Education Outreach

    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.