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Monday, June 04, 2007

Goats Eat the ‘Vine That Ate the South’

Kudzu, which is native to Asia, was introduced in the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, according to the United States Forest Service. It arrived in the South several years later, becoming a popular ornamental vine, then a forage and erosion-control crop. In the Great Depression, the federal government paid farmers to plant it. First called “the miracle vine,” kudzu eventually came to be known as “the vine that ate the South.” It grows at an astonishing rate of a foot a day, smothering flora, swallowing houses and blanketing the landscape. Now embedded in the South, as well as in parts of Oklahoma, Texas and some Northern states, kudzu can be found on at least a million acres of federal forest land, and probably millions more acres of private land, said James H. Miller, a research ecologist for the Forest Service. Now goats are proving to be an environmentally friendly, highly effective tool in Kudzu eradication. More here.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 8:43 PM

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