Developing a free on-line excel based enterprise budget decision support program to evaluate the incorporation of sheep into farm systems as an alternative to presticide and mechanical methods of weed and insect control
The team’s long-term goal is to develop an integrated crop/livestock production system that is economical and environmentally sustainable and provides benefits to both livestock and grain producers. Farming systems in Montana and other Western states are based on substantial inputs of fossil fuel, and burning to remove crop residues, synthetic fertilizers to maintain soil fertility, and pesticides to control weed and insect pests. We are developing holistic sheep/crop production farming systems that use sheep to manage crop residues, resulting in improved soil fertility, reduced weed and insect pests, and increased use of low cost crop residues for fiber and meat production. Additionally, sheep grazing summer fallow has the potential of significantly reducing selection pressure for glyphosate resistant weeds by obviating the need to control weeds with glyphosate. Overall, our results will enhance rural development with a new paradigm for agricultural production based on the “marriage” of food and fiber production with landscape management.
The first working model of our program has been developed and presented at the 2008 Montana Wool Growers Annual Convention. We are in the process of “working out the bugs” and anticipate the working addition of the program will be posted on the web last this winter.
A working model of our program has been developed and presented at the 2008 Montana Woolgrowers Convention. The final program should be finished and posted online by late winter.
Department of Animal and Range Sciences
230 Linfield Hall
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
Office Phone: 4069947952