Extension and Ag Research News


Goat browsing and buckthorn management webinar set for May 30

Experts will share research findings and experience with goat browsing and buckthorn control.

North Dakota State University Extension and University of Minnesota Extension have partnered with the Sustainable Farming Association to host a webinar for producers to learn more about utilizing goat browsing and other control methods for buckthorn. The webinar begins at 7:30 p.m. CDT on May 30.

“Utilizing small ruminants, particularly goats, as a means for invasive plant species control is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, chemical and mechanical methods,” says Sabrina Florentino, alternative livestock systems educator for UMN Extension.

During the webinar, experts will share research findings and experience with goat browsing and buckthorn control for producers and landowners. Speakers are:

  • Sara Nelson, natural resources specialist at Dakota County Parks.
  • Tiffany Wolf, assistant professor of ecosystem health at the College of Veterinary Medicine and co-director of the Minnesota Center for Prion Research and Outreach at the University of Minnesota.
  • Mike Schuster, researcher in the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota and member of the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center.

“The use of goats in the control of invasive buckthorn is appealing as a restoration strategy,” explains Wolf. “It allows land managers to avoid or reduce herbicide use, implement control on steep slopes unsuitable for mechanical equipment, and treat large areas where implementing control methods by hand is not feasible.”

Common buckthorn is the invasive species of focus for researchers and ecologists, as it dominates many woodlands, grasslands and urban areas throughout the Midwest, Nelson says.

Once removed by goats or other means, the question remains of how to prevent the return of buckthorn. Schuster proposes establishing dense covers of native plants to fill the void left by removed buckthorn.

“Goat producers and landowners alike are interested in learning the opportunities of goat browsing for invasive species control,” says Brenda Miller, UMN Extension livestock educator. “Join us for a webinar to showcase the University of Minnesota research on goat browsing and buckthorn control.”

Pre-registration is required and available at ndsu.ag/buckthorn. A Zoom link will be emailed to participants upon registration. Those unable to attend the live session will receive the recording via email. For additional information, please contact Brenda Miller at nels4220@umn.edu or Travis Hoffman at travis.w.hoffman@ndsu.edu

NDSU Agriculture Communication – May 1, 2024

Source: Travis Hoffman, 701-231-2222, travis.w.hoffman@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-7006, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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