Use of Goats for the Control of Salt Cedar

TitleUse of Goats for the Control of Salt Cedar
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsTartowski, Sandy L.
Date PublishedJanuary 9, 2005
Conference LocationSevilleta, NM
ARIS Log Number191059
Keywordsgoats, salt cedar, Sevilleta
AbstractFire, flood, herbicide, manual, mechanical and insect biocontrol methods have all been used to remove invasive salt cedar. Each method has advantages and disadvantages in particular circumstances. We used goats to browse replicated 1-3 acre plots in salt cedar near San Acacia and San Marcial along the Rio Grande. Goats damaged nearly all the salt cedar in the browsed areas. The width of salt cedars was decreased by 33% -36% in mixed vegetation. In areas where salt cedar was removed mechanically, then allowed to regrow for 4 years, goats reduced the LAI by about 37%. Goat browsing was less effective in dense stands of large salt cedar, with LAI decreased by about 27%. The number of salt cedar decreased by only 4% after the second year of treatment. It may take more than 5 years to kill individual salt cedars with repeated goat browsing. Goats browsed desirable native plants as well as salt cedar, but most of the vegetation recovered during the following growing season.