- 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.
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.