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Demonstration of the Integration of Herbicides with Aphthona spp. Flea Beetles for Leafy Spurge Control

 Rod Lym

Question 1. What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it?

1. We are demonstrating leafy spurge control with herbicides. The treatments include all herbicides labeled for leafy spurge control, including the most cost-effective treatments, those that provide the best long-term control, and those that can be used near water and under trees. The demonstration of leafy spurge control with herbicides is well under way on the Roger Meyers Ranch near Medora, ND. We established 15 herbicide treatments in 1998 and added two additional treatments in 1999 when quinclorac (Paramount) became labeled. Two more treatments were added in 2000 when quinclorac granules became available and a treatment consisting of a mixture of three herbicides was found to provide long-term leafy spurge control at other research locations. Presently the demonstration consists of 19 treatments.

2. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate integrated management of leafy spurge by combining biological control agents with herbicides. Our overall goal is to significantly increase the number of successful biological control sites with long-term control provided by the biological agent.

Question 2. How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?

Herbicides are still the most widely used method of leafy spurge control. In North Dakota alone over 450,000 acres are annually treated with chemicals for leafy spurge control. Each year over 1 million dollars is spent by state, federal, and local land managers for leafy spurge control. This is a significant cost to governmental agencies and local land owners. Even a small increase in use efficiency would significantly decrease costs and/or improve control.

Of 59 USDA-APHIS flea beetle release sites on the Little Missouri Grasslands, only nine have successfully begun to control leafy spurge (Kirby et al. 1999 Leafy Spurge Symposium p. 24). Previous research at NDSU has found that herbicide treatments in combination with flea beetles can provide better control than either method used alone.

Question 3. How does it relate to the National Program(s) and National Program Component(s)?

The TEAM Leafy Spurge project is a part of the USDA/ARS Area-Wide Management Program. It is a component of Crop and Commodity Pest Biology, Control, and Quarantine (304). TEAM Leafy Spurge complements efforts to develop new and improved pest control technologies and assess component technologies for integrated pest management (IPM)systems.

Question 4. What was your most significant accomplishment this past year?

1. We are demonstrating leafy spurge control using herbicides that include the most cost-effective treatments, those that provide the best long-term control, and those that can be used near water and under trees. We have added four treatments since the beginning of this project demonstrates the ongoing progress of leafy spurge control using herbicides in western, North Dakota. The major accomplishment was showing land managers that leafy spurge can be controlled with herbicides when they are used at the proper rate and time. Plateau has received a Section 18 Emergency Use permit for the 2000 fall season.

2. The purpose of this project is do demonstrate integrated management of leafy spurge by combining biological control agents with herbicides. We will continue to monitor the leafy spurge stand and flea beetle populations in western, North Dakota. The success of the project has already demonstrated that an IPM approach of herbicides in combination with the flea beetles will improve long-term control compared to either method used alone. Because of this research, the combination of herbicides with flea beetles is now a recommended treatment for leafy spurge control.

Question 5. Describe your major accomplishments over the life of the project, including their predicted or actual impact.

1. The major accomplishment will be to show land managers that leafy spurge can be controlled with herbicides when they are used at the proper rate and time. Too many have given up on chemical control, especially in western North Dakota because herbicide application in the past has been done in a haphazard manner. The new chemistry available has provided increased leafy spurge control at less cost than Tordon plus 2,4-D the most widely used herbicide treatment.

2. The success of the project has already demonstrated that an IPM approach of herbicides in combination with the flea beetles will improve long-term control compared to either method used alone. This project demonstrates a true IPM approach to leafy spurge control.

Question 6. What do you expect to accomplish year by year, over the next three years?

1. All the demonstrated treatments have controlled leafy spurge topgrowth at 90% or greater, except the 2,4-D alone treatment. We will graph the time line each treatment took to reach 90% control and the total cost. Thus, the most cost-effective treatments for each ecological niche will be shown. We will continue to add new treatments as they become available and likely will be able to add at least one more treatment prior to the end of the project. Tours of the location will be scheduled in 2001 including during Spurgefest II and during the annual North Dakota Weed Officers Sprayer Schools.

2. We will continue to monitor the leafy spurge stand and flea beetle populations. Perhaps some of the 50 non-successful releases (Kirby et al. 1999) could be treated as a future TEAM project to improve the biocontrol agent establishment.

Question 7. What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology?

1. All herbicides included in the demonstration are currently labeled and available to land managers. Two herbicides Plateau and Paramount have limited use labels at this time, but both are expected to have a full label by 2002. Plateau has received a Section 18 Emergency Use permit for the 2000 fall season. This permit allows land managers to apply Plateau in areas that are currently hayed or grazed by livestock. Previously, Plateau could only be used where livestock were not grazed or the forage hayed. All treatments in the demonstration are discussed in detail in the NDSU Ext. Serv. Circ. W-765R Leafy spurge identification and control, Revised 2000.

2. Because of previous research at NDSU, the combination of herbicides with flea beetles is now a recommended treatment and included in the NDSU Ext. Ser. Circ. W-865 Integrated Management of Leafy Spurge. Also, a new circular Leafy spurge control using Aphthona spp. flea beetles was published in 1999.

Question 8. List your most important publications in the popular press (no abstracts) and presentations to non-scientific organizations, and articles written about your work (NOTE: this does not replace your peer-reviewed publications which are listed below).

"Give your pastures more zip next spring" 1999. The Steward. 9(4) p. 2-3.

"NDSU researcher: Leafy spurge control making progress". NDSU Ag Communications news release. 1 July 1999.

"Paramount received limited label for leafy spurge" NDSU Crop and Pest Rept. 24 June 2000.

"EPA grants exemption for herbicide to control leafy spurge in North Dakota". NDSU Ag. Communications news release. 10 July 00.

Presented a leafy spurge control update at the NDSU Extension Service Fall Conference. Fargo, ND. 21 Oct 1999. Attendance 35.

Attended and gave two presentations at the 16th Annual North Dakota Weed Control Association annual meeting. "Plateau Herbicide Research Results in North Dakota and New Herbicide Labels", and "Controlling Leafy Spurge with Minimal Damage to Endangered Species". Jamestown, ND. 11 to 13 Jan 2000. Attendance 155.

Participated as an instructor for the Noxious Weed Control Educational Workshop sponsored by the North Dakota Weed Control Association, the North Dakota Dept. of Ag., and NDSU. The first session was held in cooperation with Williams County in Williston on 22 May. Attendance 45 (county weed officers and board members from 8 counties and area Park Service and North Dakota Game and Fish personnel). The second session was held in cooperation with Cass County in Loftsgard on 25 May. Attendance 64 (county weed officers and board members from 8 counties).

Presented a summary of leafy spurge control with herbicides and herbicides combined with biocontrol agents. Also, updated participants on the new invasive species found in the area during the Leafy Spurge International Day at Frost Fire Mountain near Walhalla. 26 to 27 June 2000. Attendance 150.

2. "NDSU researcher: Leafy spurge control making progress". NDSU Ag Communications news release. 1 July 1999.

Lym, R. G., D. L. Olson, and D. A. Mundal. 1999. Leafy spurge control using flea beetles (Aphthona spp.). North Dakota State Univ. Ext. Ser. Cir. W-1183.

Question 9. Scientific publications

1. Lym, R. G. 2000. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) control with glyphosate plus 2,4-D. J. Range Manage. 53:68-72.

Lym, R. G. 2000. Leafy spurge control with alternating applications of imazapic and picloram plus 2,4-D. Res. Prog. Rep. West. Soc. Weed Sci. p.10.

Christianson, K. C., and R. G. Lym. 2000. Diflufenzopyr increases perennial weed control with auxin herbicides. Proceed. West. Soc. Weed Sci. 53:9-10

Markle, D. M. and R. G. Lym. 2000. Imazapic for leafy spurge control. Proceed. West. Soc. Weed Sci. 53:49-50.

Lym, R. G., C. G. Messersmith, and Richard Zollinger. 2000. Leafy spurge identification and control. North Dakota State Univ. Ext. Ser. Cir. W- 765. (Revised).

2. Lym, R. G., D. A. Mundal, and R. B. Carlson. 2000. Leafy spurge control with Aphthona nigriscutis alone or combined with herbicides. Res. Prog. Rep. West. Soc. Weed Sci. p. 11-12.

Nelson, J. A. and R. G. Lym. 1999. Integration of the Flea Beetle, Aphthona nigriscutis and herbicides for control of leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula. Abst. X International Symp. Bio. Cont. Weeds. Bozeman, MT. p. 59.

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