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Demonstration of Leafy Spurge Control with Herbicides

Rod Lym

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

We are demonstrating leafy spurge control with herbicides. The herbicide treatments include all herbicides labeled for leafy spurge control, including the most cost-effective treatments, those that provide the most 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 in June 1999.

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 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.

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 demonstration of leafy spurge control during the Spurgefest resulted in several county and federal agencies changing from costly less effective herbicide treatments to more cost-effective and new treatments. A direct effect of this tour was a request from several groups including the Stockmans Association for a Section 18 (emergency use) permit for Plateau (imazapic) for leafy spurge control. This particular treatment provided the best leafy spurge control of any treatment we demonstrated.

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

The major accomplishment should 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.

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

All the demonstrated treatments will control leafy spurge top-growth 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.

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?

All herbicides included in the demonstration are currently labeled and available to land managers. Two herbicides Plateau and Paramount have limited used labels at this time, but both are expected to have a full label with in 24 months. Tours such as the one conducted during Spurgefest are very important in “getting the word out”. I would like to see an evening tour arranged in 2000 so that more local landowners could participate in the tour. All treatments in the demonstration are discussed in detail in the NDSU Ext. Serv. Circ. W-765R Leafy spurge identification and control.

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

Lym, R. G. 1999. Evaluation of imazapic for leafy spurge control. Res. Prog. Rep. West. Soc. Weed Sci. p 26-28.

Markle, D. M. and R. G. Lym. 1999. Imazapic for leafy spurge control. Proceed. Leafy Spurge Symposium, North Dakota State Univ., Medora, ND. p 6-7.

Lym, R. G., C. G. Messersmith, and R. Zollinger. 1998. Leafy spurge identification and control. North Dakota Ext. Ser. Cir. W-765R.

Markle, Denise M.    Graduated May 1999
Thesis: Imazameth for leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) control.

“Evaluation of Plateau for leafy spurge control” The Leafy Spurge News, Nov. 1998.

Question 9: Scientific Publications

Lym, R. G. 1999. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) control with glyphosate plus 2,4-D. J. Range Manage. 52:In press.

Lajeunesse, S. R. Sheley, C. Duncan., and R. G. Lym. 1999. Leafy spurge. In Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds. pp 249-260. Ed. R. L. Sheley and J. K. Petroff. Oregon State Univ. Press.

Lym, R. G. 1998. The biology and systems management of leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) on North Dakota Rangeland. Weed Technol. 12:367-373
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