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TEAM Leafy Spurge Demonstration Assessment, Medora N.D.

Jim Jacobs

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

Transfer of information from the research community to the management community is an important part of leafy spurge management. One of the most effective ways of technology transfer is through on the ground demonstration of management practices. Evaluation of management effects on leafy spurge and desirable species in the plant community are critical in this education process. The objective of the Medora Demonstration Assessment is to collect field data on the effects of management treatments that include two herbicide trials and a demonstration of integrating cattle and sheep grazing with biological control.

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

On the grasslands and riparian areas of the northern Midwest, and North Dakota, the decline of native rhizomatous grass communities have been accompanied by an increase in leafy spurge. Leafy spurge reduces livestock production because cattle tend not to utilize leafy spurge. Over the last 50 years or so, research has developed herbicidal, biological, and grazing management strategies. Demonstrations of the integration of these strategies are an important link between research and the producers that are facing this ecological disaster on their land. Quantitative assessment of these demonstrations is critical in determining what integration of these strategies is most effective for any particular management situation. For demonstrations to be educational, quantitative data must be collected and disseminated. Only then can land managers make ecologically sound management decisions.

Question 3: How does it relate to the National Program(s) and National Program Component(s) to which it has been assigned?

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 were the most significant accomplishments this past year?

Dramatic decreases in leafy spurge populations have been observed and associated with Aphthona releases. Data collected from the Camels Hump Grazing demonstration provides an opportunity to ascertain if declines in leafy spurge are associated with biocontrol, grazing practices, natural population fluctuations, or some combination of factors.

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

Annual collection of data from the demonstrations will provide pre- and post-treatment information of the demonstrations. These data will allow evaluation of the impacts of the treatments on leafy spurge and the plant community. These evaluations will provide managers information upon which to base their decisions.

Question 6: What do you expect to accomplish, year by year, over the next 3 years?

Using results from the Lym herbicide trial, we expect to compare the effectiveness herbicides on the control of leafy spurge. We expect the results from the grazing demonstration to show an increasing effect of sheep grazing and biological control on leafy spurge over time.

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 products?

Demonstrations are currently available for tours. Baseline and first-year results are currently available. Long-term results will be available at the conclusion of the project. There are no constraints to adopting the technology.

Question 8: List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to non-scientific organizations and articles written about your work.

A manuscript has been drafted showing the relationship among Leafy spurge, Aphthona nigriscutis, and site characteristics.

Pre-treatment data was presented at the Team Leafy Spurge Annual Meeting Rapid City, South Dakota, 8 October 1998.

Question 9: Scientific Publications

None to date.
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