Goat Farmers Could Profit From Peanuts
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Jill Lee, (301) 504-1627, email@example.com
March 11, 1999
Southern farmers who produce forage peanuts might see their profits grow
with goats, thanks to an increasingly diverse U.S. population with a taste
for goat meat. The forage peanuts that readily grow in Florida and the
southern parts of the Gulf States also make great goat food, according to
new agricultural research.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture teamed up with Fort Valley State
University at Fort Valley, Ga., to find out if goats can be raised on
different kinds of forages. The project is part of Fort Valley's
comprehensive program to develop profitable year-round grazing systems for
Scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service assisted Ft. Valley in
nutritional analysis, using near infra-red spectrometry. They found no
significant difference in nutritional value between alfalfa, the usual goat
forage, and the leafy peanut plants. Forage peanuts don't produce nuts like
the kind people eat, so most of their nutritional value is in the leaves.
Scientists at Fort Valley, who conceived the goat-peanut idea, kept live
herds to see how the practice worked outside the laboratory. They found the
goats may prefer peanut plants over alfalfa in the fall breeding season.
These results suggest setting aside some peanuts for pasture might be a
profitable option. Goats are a low environmental impact livestock.
A recent study done for USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service shows goat
meat will gain markets because of the United States' increasing cultural
diversity. Caribbean and West African cuisines use mature goat meat for
jerks and barbecues. Muslims enjoy kid goat meat as part of their festive
meal, id-al-Fitr, which is the break from Ramadan fasting.
Greek, Italian and other European cultures also make goat part of their
holiday fare. Latino cuisine favors Cabrito, or meat from a kid goat
weighing less than 20 pounds. But it isn't just new immigrants who want
goat. Restaurants featuring international cuisine are adding to the number
of consumers craving goat--not only in the South, but nationwide.
Scientific contacts: William Windham, ARS Richard B. Russell Agricultural
Research Center, Athens, Ga., phone (706) 546-3513, fax (706) 546-3607,
firstname.lastname@example.org; Tom Terrill, Animal Science Department, Fort Valley State
University, Fort Valley, Ga., phone (912) 825-6814, fax (912) 825-6376,
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