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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?

The purpose of the second project is do 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?

B. 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) 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?

The insects have established. Both Aphthona nigriscutis and A. czwalinae/lacertosa are present. We applied herbicides in 1998, but do not plan to have to reapply again. Insects have been present in the area for at least five years, but little or no leafy spurge stem reduction has been observed.

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

The success of the project will demonstrate that an IPM approach of herbicides in combination with the flea beetles will improve long-term control compared to either method used alone.

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

We will monitor the leafy spurge stand and flea beetle populations. Perhaps some of the 50 non-successful releases (Kirby et al.) 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 products?

This demonstration site was not part of the 1999 Spurgefest Tour. We hope it is included in the future, perhaps in 2000 if an evening tour is arranged. 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 is in review and scheduled for publication by 1 Nov. 1999.

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

None to date.

Question 9: Scientific Publications

Nelson, J. A., and R. G. Lym. 1999. Integration of the flea beetle Aphthona nigriscutis, and herbicides for control of leafy spurge. Proceed. X International Symp. Biological Control of Weeds. In press.

Nelson, J. A., R. G. Lym, and R. A. Carlson. 1999. Integration of Aphthona flea beetles and herbicides for leafy spurge control. Proceed. Leafy Spurge Symposium, North Dakota State Univ., Medora, ND. p. 8-9.
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