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RESEARCH ARTICLE: The Use of Domestic Goats and Vinegar as Municipal Weed Control Alternatives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 April 2009

Annie L. Booth*
Affiliation:
Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Norman W. Skelton
Affiliation:
Prince George Northern Sustainable Landscape Initiative, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
*
Address correspondence to: Annie L. Booth, Associate Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, British Columbia V2N 4Z9, Canada; (fax)250-960-5538; (email)annie@unbc.ca
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Abstract

This article presents the results of a two year pilot case study of alternative weed control in a northern Canadian community. Investigators tested the efficacy of acetic acid (vinegar) and a domestic herbivore (goats) as invasive weed control alternatives to the use of commercial herbicides in a north central British Columbian municipal setting. Results were positive for using an 8% concentration of vinegar as a control for Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense (L.) scop.), although these results were significant only in the second year of applications. Domestic goats demonstrated significant interest in thistle, as well as hawkweed, (Hieracium spp.), two species of horsetail (Equisetum arvense and Equisetum pratense), oxeye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare), and the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Cost estimates suggest that over a five year period, both methods are as cost effective as single application herbicides, while posing fewer concerns over impacts on human and ecosystem health. Both are simple solutions easily implemented, with some planning, even by small municipalities and communities.

Environmental Practice 11:3–16 (2009)

Type
FEATURES
Copyright
Copyright © National Association of Environmental Professionals 2009

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