Certain types of pasture plants may help small livestock owners control deadly internal parasites. As part of a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project, sheep and goats in Canton, Cape Vincent, and AuSable Forks are now grazing pastures planted a year ago with specific species of birdsfoot trefoil, a legume that may have an anti-worm effect on the livestock.
With 2015 funding from the farmer-driven NNYADP, project leaders Dr. Michael L. Thonney and Dr. tatiana Stanton of the Cornell University Sheep and Goat programs are looking to adapt the success that small livestock growers in the Southeastern U.S. have had grazing animals on forages with high tannin concentration.
‘The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is addressing a critical farmer-identified need with the opportunity to evaluate pasture species that may serve as biocontrol options for controlling internal parasites in sheep and goat flocks,’ Stanton said.
Small livestock grazing in the South have shown improved resistance to barber pole worm, or stomach worm, a major cause of death in pastured sheep and goats. The Northern New York region however, says Thonney, an Animal Science Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, will require a slightly different approach.