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Integrating Current and Emerging Herbicide Technologies
in Leafy Spurge Control Programs

Leon Wrage

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

Leafy spurge is a serious perennial weed in the Great Plains. Herbicides are used extensively to control and reduce the spread of this weed, however it may require repeated use and there are limitations in certain sites. Nearly 20% of the infested acreage in the state has environmental conditions that restrict herbicide use. The use of reduced rates and multiple applications of existing technology and evaluation of new technologies will provide improved approaches for herbicides. This technology will be most effective when integrating with other biological and mechanical control practices. Studies will evaluate reduced rates of herbicides in a multiple application system, evaluate new technology with reduced rate of plant regulators and evaluate reduced rates of herbicides integrated with livestock grazing. Systems to use new herbicides on a long-term program are being evaluated.

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

Historically, data reported shows leafy spurge has increased by 10% annually for the past 20 years. According to the 1997 annual reports submitted by South Dakota County Weed and Pest Boards, 260,000 acres of this state’s land is infested with leafy spurge. The loss to the state’s producers associated with this level of infestation would be estimated to exceed $5,000,000 from this noxious weed.

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?

First year data was collected and evaluated on two long-term field tests. In addition to providing data for leafy spurge control training opportunities, data collected was used to support a special haying and grazing label request on rangeland for Plateau herbicide. The long-term field test site provided an opportunity to hold a field tour for local producers, agency personnel, and TEAM Leafy Spurge project staff. Data collected from other field tests for leafy spurge included evaluation of experimental products. The TEAM Leafy Spurge project provides for data under conditions represented by the project site; vegetation and rainfall patterns differ considerably from other areas in the state.

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

Major accomplishments are limited to the first year implementation and data collection. Accomplishments anticipated have been identified in the project objectives.
A. 1) Expand the project scope to include new herbicide technologies as part of the system.
2) Develop a data base for the area represented in the project.
3) Provide an on-site training opportunity in cooperative programs for producers and agency personnel.

B. Develop field test conditions that offer additional opportunity for evaluating integrated control options.

C. Contribute to technology that will sustain resources and productivity.

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

A. Develop awareness of program for agency personnel and local producers.
B. Establish site locations for designed field tests.

A. Make adjustments in treatment applications based on data collected from first year results.
B. Establish additional tests where suitable locations can be located.
C. Collect data from all long-term tests, prepare data summary which includes producer recommendations.

A. Continue to collect data on long-term field projects.

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?

Technology transfer will be ultimately measured by implementation and improved leafy spurge control with economic benefits to producers and to land managers concerned with natural resource enhancement. First year data has been presented to county and area noxious weed program personnel; awareness of the problem, the TEAM Leafy Spurge project and potential new technologies has increased. Technology transfer has occurred directly to end user via media, local training, and first-hand field experience. Concepts have been included in education topics for other professional managers and program personnel in counties.

Potential constraints are dependent on anticipated registration for haying and grazing special label requests on new technologies and unknown input cost in relation to value of the livestock economy. The technology to evaluate reduced rates (reduced costs) with cost spread over multiple years will be an incentive to invest in control technology when limited resources are available.

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.

Wrage, L., and SD Weed and Pest Commission. 1999. Noxious Weeds. Extension Special Series 34. 26 pp.

Wrage, L., and D. Deneke. 1999. “Leafy Spurge Control and Plateau”. Training session, Pierre, SD.

Wrage L., D. Deneke, and K. Nelson. 1999. TEAM Leafy Spurge Field Tour. Harding County.

Wrage, L. and D. Deneke. 1998. “Noxious Weed Data Report”. Dept. publication. 36 pp.

Wrage, L., S. Clay, D. Deneke, and K. Nelson. 1998. TEAM Leafy Spurge Program. Poster display, TEAM Leafy Spurge, 2nd Annual Meeting, Rapid City, SD.

Deneke, D. and L. Wrage. 1998. “Biocontrol of Noxious Weeds in South Dakota”. ExEx 8133, 2 pp.

Deneke, D. and L. Wrage. 1998. “Noxious Weed Update”. Six district meetings for county and agency personnel.

Question 9: Scientific Publications

Wrage, L. and D. Deneke. 1999. Noxious Weed Control. FS 525N. 22 pp.
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