What Eats Problem Weeds?

Pasture systems are prone to infestation with problem weeds. High traffic areas, overgrazing and lack of proper weed control contribute to this problem. Sheep and goats may be able to help keep some of these problem weeds in check, even if they will not eliminate them. A small herd of sheep and goats in Cla

Goat Grazing Ironweed

Goat grazing tall ironweed. Photo: Dr. Jimmy Henning

y County Kentucky were recently observed grazing a vegetative tall fescue pasture with scattered problem weeds like ironweed, cocklebur and pigweed. The sheep and goats had grazed the ends of the tall fescue leaves, which were elongated with new fall growth. However, they had clearly defoliated the ironweed, and were observed to consume mature pigweed and cocklebur. Grazing will almost never eliminate problem weeds, but co-grazing with other species, especially goats, may help to slow their proliferation. ~ Dr. Jimmy Henning