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News and information from UC Cooperative Extension about alfalfa and forage production.
Tractor & Hay bales
Comments:
by Dan Spangler
on February 8, 2019 at 11:05 AM
I heard that weed seeds consumed by goats and later excreted are not viable. Is this true? Do goats (and sheep) help reduce the seed bank of weeds? Related question, can sheep or goats bring in weed seed from the prior grazing site?
Reply by Daniel H Putnam
on February 11, 2019 at 2:57 PM
Dan;  
Great question. The answer is - some of them, not all of them. That is, digestion takes care of some weed seeds not others. I would have to check with weeds people as to whether there is any evidence that in balance, grazing would reduce seed bank or not. I suppose that if some percentage of weed seeds are rendered non-viable, that it would reduce the seed bank. On the other hand, if seed is 'scarified' by digestion, it would enhance germination (some have evolved to pass through digestive systems of birds and herbivores). The last question is yes- sheep or goats can bring in weed seed, on hoofs, coats, and perhaps in manures.
 
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