October 30, 2002

TEAM Leafy Spurge Produces Video Documentary

TEAM Leafy Spurge recently produced its own documentary entitled “Purging Spurge: Corralling an Ecological Bandit” in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc., which aired this past summer. The 30-minute documentary focuses on grassland health and the impact of invasive weeds like leafy spurge on the ecosystem. Its aim was, and is, to increase public awareness and to bring all segments of society on board to help control invasive weeds. In addition, TEAM Leafy Spurge encourages the use of integrated pest management techniques as economical and environmentally friendly options for controlling weeds. After debuting on North Dakota’s Prairie Public Television on Tuesday, June 25, 2002, videotapes of the documentary are now being distributed to weed and pest workers across the Western United States.

In announcing the videotape distribution, TEAM Leafy Spurge director, Gerry Anderson, noted, “This is a great informational tool for everyone to learn about the need for weed control in the rural environment. We encourage those receiving this tape to share it in their community as it is ideal for use in the classroom, libraries and at community events.”

TEAM Leafy Spurge’s goal is to research, develop and demonstrate ecologically based Integrated Pest Management strategies that can be used to achieve effective, affordable and sustainable leafy spurge control, and to provide a variety of educational resources on that same topic.

In addition to the video, other products available from TEAM Leafy Spurge are, “Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database 4.0” and a series of how-to manuals and CD-ROMs on the integrated pest management of leafy spurge. The first manual/CD set, entitled “Biological Control of Leafy Spurge,” gives detailed information regarding the use of insects to control leafy spurge infestations. Second in the series, “Multi-species Grazing and Leafy Spurge” integrates grazing animals, such as sheep with cattle, to help reduce leafy spurge densities. Production on the third set in the series, “Herbicide Control of Leafy Spurge” has begun. Available in mid-November, the how-to manual on herbicides provides information on proper herbicide use, including calibration techniques for spray equipment, a general overview of the variety of herbicides available for use against leafy spurge, and how to use herbicides with other pest management strategies.

If you are interested in any of the materials listed above, please contact the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 North Central Avenue in Sidney, MT, or phone 406 433-2020. You may also email teamls@sidney.ars.usda.gov or visit TEAM Leafy Spurge’s website at http://www.team.ars.usda.gov for many of these publications and further information on leafy spurge.

Funded by USDA-Agricultural Research Service and managed cooperatively with the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, TEAM Leafy Spurge stresses partnerships, teamwork and a cooperative approach to solving the leafy spurge problem. TEAM members include state and federal agencies, state Cooperative Extension Services, land grant universities, weed managers, county and other local entities, and private landowners and ranchers.

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