Grazing Animals vs. Herbicide

Oct 18, 2017

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Hunnicutt Creek receives most of the drainage water from Clemson’s campus, historically functioning as a  flood plain. Over the past hundreds of years, many changes were made to this natural feature to allow for more traditional farming to occur, and the vegetation changed from native to mostly exotic invasive plants such as privet, honeysuckle, and English ivy. For several years, a herd of goats rented from North Carolina’s Wells Farm has come to spend several months chomping on these nutritious but unwanted plants. Electric fences keep the goats in selected areas and a protective guard dog keeps predators away. As the goats clear areas,  native species that will stabilize the soil and provide food and shelter for wildlife will be planted. Researchers are comparing the results of using these grazing animals or conventional herbicide treatments to control unwanted plants.