Monday, September 27, 2010

Buy, borrow or rent a goat for weed control

Goats have a reputation for eating anything, but that can be a good thing. While they don't really eat tin cans, they do eat weeds, Terry Hutchens, goat specialist with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service told Greg Kocher of the Lexington Herald-Leader. A local golf course is using goats to trim ragweed and woody brush. Some area goat producers let the golf course use the goats at no cost. The producers get their goats fed for free, and the course reduced spending on big weeds. The goats don't run free; they are penned in successive weed-control locations. (Photo by Kocher)

Goats are also used to control kudzu, the legendary vine found throughout the South. Goat control of kudzu generally costs $3 an acre while chemicals will cost $60 to $70 an acre, Hutchens told Kocher. Goats not only eat kudzu, they also can produce beautiful mohair or angora yarn, be used for meat or milked, and as a rental business. Al Dilley, of Glasgow, Ky., is the founder of Goat Browsers, which he calls an "environmentally friendly land enhancement service." He leases his goats to anyone who wants them for temporary weed control. "It's a niche business," Dilley said. "You're not going to get rich, but it's worth the effort. You never know. After Colonel Sanders sold that first chicken, he did all right." (Read more)

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