June 19, 2002

Teamwork Extended

TEAM Leafy Spurge, The Ecological Area-wide Management of Leafy Spurge, has gained an extension of its five-year life span. Due to expire in 2001, the program has been so successful that a one-year extension has been granted to allow for continued work and to further increase the impact of the project.

Dr. Gerry Anderson, program director said he is pleased that TEAM Leafy Spurge efforts will continue for another year. “The extension will allow us to improve upon and broaden our knowledge in a number of different project areas including assessment, research and technology transfer,” he said. “The extension also provides for new, limited, short-term research initiatives identified by our National Program Staff.”

Anderson said the extension reflects the strong support TEAM Leafy Spurge has developed in the four-state area it serves. “Ranchers and land managers alike have spoken and the USDA, Agricultural Research Service has responded,” he said. Given the added time and resources now available as a result of the extension, Anderson noted that the TLS staff is “committed to using these new resources to improve our scientific understanding and – of equal or more importance – to ensure that end user needs are better met.”

In other TEAM Leafy Spurge news, the long awaited “Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database” update has arrived. Purge Spurge was first published in 1995 and received a federal technology award at that time. This latest version, produced by TEAM Leafy Spurge, contains more than 900 journal articles, workshop proceedings, Extension bulletins, photo pages and TEAM Leafy Spurge posters and publications. The CD is a useful reference and educational tool for researchers studying the weed and for landowners hoping to learn how to control it. In addition to articles discussing the ecology, biology, taxonomy and economics of the weed, the CD includes numerous other documents and resources outlining successful integrated pest management techniques used in its control.

A trial version of Purge Spurge Version 4.0 debuted at Spurgefest II in June 2001. In this final version, new links have been added to speed navigation, along with several more documents including the last two Leafy Spurge Symposiums, meaning the new CD boasts a complete collection of the proceedings beginning with the event’s inception in 1979 through 2001.

But Purge Spurge is not the only CD-ROM TEAM Leafy Spurge produced this past year. Currently in press, is the first installment of Team Leafy Spurge’s Integrated Pest Management Information Series on leafy spurge control. The series focuses on how to use the most effective weed control techniques currently available. IPM techniques featured in the series include biological control, multi-species grazing and herbicides. Information on each is provided through an in-depth, “how-to” manual paired with an interactive CD-ROM that incorporates additional informational that can be used by individuals or groups.

The series’ first “matched set” focuses on the “Biological Control of Leafy Spurge.” The how-to guide was originally published in April of 2000 and is now in its third printing with more than 38,000 copies distributed in 27 states and four Canadian provinces. Its companion CD-ROM was designed to provide a variety of other pieces of useful information about using biological control and how it can be integrated with other management tools.  An innovative part of this multi-media product was the development of a fully automated, 20-minute, “how to” PowerPoint presentation. TEAM Leafy Spurge biological control experts developed the presentation, which includes a voice-over that actually puts the expertise of the experts in the hands of the end user.  Additional information products available on the CD, include; a photo gallery, bibliography, posters, publications and a variety of other useful information.

The CD set also incorporates photos and poster materials from another TLS CD product issued in January 2000: “Leafy Spurge Biological Control Information and Photo Resource Gallery.” That CD was produced by R.D. Richard, Lana R. King and Harold W. Ziolkowski of USDA-APHIS in Bozeman, MT. Its contents have been combined with this latest offering to give end users a convenient, single source of reference on the biological control of leafy spurge.

New additions to TEAM Leafy Spurge’s IPM information series will follow the same format as the Biological Control example, combining how-to manuals and interactive CD-ROMs for a one-two punch. Already completed is the “how-to” handbook on multi-species grazing.  Like “Purge Spurge” it debuted at Spurgefest this past June. This latest handbook will be followed shortly by another on herbicide use. The supplemental CD-ROMs on multi-species grazing and herbicide use are also in various stages of production.  In every case, the information presented will be built around the premise of bringing the expert to the end user.

Like “Purge Spurge 4.0,” all publications, will be available through the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 North Central Avenue, Sidney, MT 59270. Please contact us by mail at the address previously mentioned, phone (406) 433-2020, fax (406) 433-5038, email bredlin@sidney.ars.usda.gov, or jmiller@sidney.ars.usda.gov or also through the internet website http://www.team.ars.usda.gov.


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