Goat Handbook Available on Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production
TUSKEGEE, Alabama – A year-round forage production and grazing/browsing management handbook for goats, developed by Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension, is now available to professionals and producers interested in pasture-based goat production, but require technical information on establishing and maintaining sustainable year-round forage systems.
“Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management for Goats in the Southern Region,” was developed as part of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded Professional Development Program grant project (ES11-107) to train field-level Extension specialists, technical assistance personnel, and mentor goat farmers in year-round forage production and grazing management. The project also includes complimentary educational videos, which will be available in 2014.
“Pasture-based goat production is becoming one of the important enterprises for livestock farmers in Alabama and neighboring states, but most farmers have not adopted sustainable forage programs and depend on hay and supplemental feedstuffs during times of reduced forage availability,” said Uma Karki, assistant professor and State Extension livestock specialist at Tuskegee University. “The goal of the handbook is to provide users with information they need to establish and maintain a sustainable grazing/browsing system to help them reduce the costs of production, and improve the nutritional quality for the animals.”
The handbook provides tools for developing cool-season pastures by incorporating cool-season grasses and legumes into warm-season pastures, and improving the warm-season pastures by over-seeding them with warm-season legumes. Moreover, the handbook discusses browse and vine species suitable for maintaining in pastures to supplement goats’ nutritional requirements and minimizing parasitic infestations. Other topics include forage definition and classification, basic principles of forage production, animal grazing behavior, predator and disaster management, managing erosion, supplemental feeding, and economics.
Other key partners in the project include PadmaDal Memorial Foundation, Alabama Natural Resources Conservation Service, Auburn University, Mississippi State University, Langston University, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
For more information on the SSARE-funded project, visit the national SARE projects database and search by project number ES11-107.
Published by the Southern Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Southern SARE operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, and the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture to offer competitive grants to advance sustainable agriculture in America's Southern region.