Boundary Invasive Species Society consider targeted grazing to control hoary alyssum

Targeted goat razing is becoming more popular for fighting invasive plants.

Mocha the goat eating hoary alyssum as part of the targeted goat grazing method of invasive species control.

When it comes to the fight against invasive plant species, a new and exciting method is proving to be quite useful.

This method is known as targeted goat grazing, and it has been used successfully, including by the City of Kamloops.

Basically, targeted grazing involves using goats to munch on and kill weeds.

Examples of weeds that have been controlled using this method include plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides), knapweeds (Centaurea spp.) and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense).

The reason why this method is thought to be so effective is because once a plant is grazed on, it loses its flowers and leaves and cannot go to seed or do photosynthesis. This means that the plant can’t reproduce or grow. Goat excrement is also an excellent fertilizer and therefore targeted grazing not only gets rid of weeds, it also encourages the growth of grasses and other native species.

The Boundary Invasive Species Society and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) are now asking the question – can targeted grazing be used to control hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)? Hoary alyssum has become such a problem species within the Boundary and despite all efforts, it is still extremely invasive.  Therefore, any method that can be used to control hoary alyssum should be explored.

So far, initial trial runs suggest that targeted goat grazing can indeed be used against hoary alyssum, as goats will munch on both the flowers and the leaves of this weed.

How effective the grazing is in the long-term is not yet known.

And although hoary alyssum is known to be toxic to some livestock, so far no health problems have surfaced within these test runs.

If you’re interested in learning more about targeted grazing using goats, come out to a free workshop this Saturday (Aug. 10) at the RDKB office in Grand Forks at 10 a.m.

To sign up for this workshop, contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at 250-446-2232 or boundaryinvasives@gmail.com.

– Written by Kristen Small for the Boundary Invasive Species Society

Just Posted

RDKB receives funding for disaster response ‘work space’ in Midway

The work space and storage will be used by disaster response volunteers.

Christina Lake Ladies’ Golf finishes successful year

The team starts back up again in April – new members welcome!

Border Bruins lose to Beaver Valley on home ice

The team will play the Jack this Friday at 7 p.m.

Grand Forks Senior Wolves hit court for first tournament

Both teams finished with a two and one record.

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Most Read