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Harvesting exotics

> >I would hope those doing plant control might ask us for help in
> controlling
> >exotics.   One thing I could suggest is that plants that are desired to
> >reduce or eliminate and which are suitable for fodder might be harvested
> >and fed to food animals nearby to reduce the nutrients in the water to a
> >more natural level.
> >
> >Let's offer our knowledge to help REALLY solve the problem instead of
> >wringing our hands and criticizing legislators.   Whaddya all think?
> That's an interesting question.  I wonder how many of the exotics that we
> (collective humanity) have introduced could have application as fodder for
> certain types of animals.  This could be an interesting study and one that
> might pay for aquatic harvesting.  After all, Hydrilla is known to grow
> upwards of 3" per day in direct sunlight.  This is a pretty good ratio when
> you consider the cost of livestock feed.  I have a feeling that the
> nutrient value is somewhat less than grain, but it might still be good
> enough for filler during those expensive summer months.  Have there been
> any studies in regards to the applicability of aquatic plants for livestock
> fodder?

Having grown up working in the Weed Harvesting business, and always in
need of a place to dump the weeds once harvested, I can tell you that
farmers really LOVED the weeds for fertilizer, but that farm animals
rarely would eat any of it.  Hydrilla especially, since it was about 99.5%
water, was useless as a food.

Once in a while the farm pigs would eat the lake weeds, but not with the
energy that they would devour their regular food.

I'm certainly no expert about these things, but have had many years
expirence with lake weed harvesting, so I thought I'd pass my personal
observations along...

And, BTW, the weed harvesting we did was for lakes/rivers/etc that were
looking for a good way for weed control.  Pulling the weeds out of lakes
over a period of 10 years or so, you deprive the new growth of the
fertilizer the dead plants provide.  Over time, they thin out due to a
lack of nutriants.

If you want to see what some of this equipment looks like, you can take a
look at http://www.inland-lake.com.  While we didn't use their equipment
(we used equipment from a company called Aquamarine), it is very similar.

| Curtis V. Shambeau  |  curt at execpc_com  |  http://www.execpc.com/~curt |
|                Executive Vice President - Exec-PC, Inc.                |