Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2005
Publication Date: February 17, 2006
Citation: Clements, C.D., Young, J.A. 2006. The use of goat grazing to biologically suppress perennial pepperweed [abstract]. Proceedings Society for Range Management. 59:48. February 12-17, 2006, Vancouver, British Columbia. Technical Abstract: Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is a creeping rooted exotic weed that has infested riparian areas, native hay meadows and agronomic fields throughout the western United States. Perennial pepperweed is a highly invasive weed that causes management and economic problems through the loss of diversity and quality forage. The use of herbicides is the most common practice in the effort to control this invasive perennial weed, but in recent times there has been increasing discussion on the use of biologically suppressing this weed through sheep and goat grazing. We investigated the grazing of perennial pepperweed by goats during 1998 and 1999 in northwestern Nevada. Eight 0.1 hectare enclosures were constructed to monitor the utilization and effect of goat grazing on perennial pepperweed. Four of the 0.1 hectare enclosures were grazed and combined with various herbicidal treatments, while the remaining 4 enclosures were grazed throughout the summer and then seeded to a perennial grass. Heavy grazing of perennial pepperweed decreased forage yield by 78%, yet did not decrease the number of perennial pepperweed plants in the plots. The control of perennial pepperweed using the combined grazing with herbicidal treatments was not significant (P > 0.05) compared to the herbicidal treatments alone. Grazing perennial pepperweed as a control method followed by seeding was unsuccessful due to the fact that the sprouting perennial grass seedlings could not compete with the dense creeping rooted perennial pepperweed population. The suppression of perennial pepperweed with the use of selective herbicides combined with seeding a competitive perennial grass was significantly (P < 0.05) more successful than the goat grazing treatments combined with seeding the same perennial grass.