Goats have two main roles in the rangelands; woody weed management and diversification of income (meat, fibre production). Goat stocking is one option within a policy of integrated woody weed management. Goats readily defoliate some woody weeds, especially when pasture biomass is low, offering an alternative to management burning. A strategy of goat stocking for areas dominated by Dodonaea attenuata is discussed. The gross margin of a goat enterprise used to manage woody weeds, estimated at $7.90 /ha, generates an internal rate of return of approximately 19% over a ten year period. However, a greater understanding of the ecology of rangeland plants is needed to confidently develop stocking strategies that manage woody weeds without causing permanent pasture damage. A stronger marketing framework, particularly for goat meat, is required to stabilise the market and improve prices.
FUTURE OF GOAT PRODUCTION IN AUSTRALIAN RANGELANDS
Australian Rangeland Society
6TH Australian Rangeland Society Conference