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TEAM Leafy Spurge Produces Video Documentary

October 30, 2002

Click here to view the TEAM Leafy Spurge video online.TEAM Leafy Spurge recently produced its own documentary entitled “Purging Spurge: Corralling an Ecological Bandit” in partnership with Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc., which aired this past summer. The 30-minute documentary focuses on grassland health and the impact of invasive weeds like leafy spurge on the ecosystem. Its aim was, and is, to increase public awareness and to bring all segments of society on board to help control invasive weeds. In addition, TEAM Leafy Spurge encourages the use of integrated pest management techniques as economical and environmentally friendly options for controlling weeds. After debuting on North Dakota’s Prairie Public Television on Tuesday, June 25, 2002, videotapes of the documentary were distributed to weed and pest workers across the Western United States. 

The video is now available online at the ARS website ( 

In announcing the videotape distribution, TEAM Leafy Spurge director, Gerry Anderson, noted, “This is a great informational tool for everyone to learn about the need for weed control in the rural environment. We encourage those receiving this tape to share it in their community as it is ideal for use in the classroom, libraries and at community events.”

TEAM Leafy Spurge’s goal is to research, develop and demonstrate ecologically based Integrated Pest Management strategies that can be used to achieve effective, affordable and sustainable leafy spurge control, and to provide a variety of educational resources on that same topic.

In addition to the video, other products available from TEAM Leafy Spurge are, “Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database 4.0” and a series of how-to manuals and CD-ROMs on the integrated pest management of leafy spurge. The first manual/CD set, entitled “Biological Control of Leafy Spurge,” gives detailed information regarding the use of insects to control leafy spurge infestations. Second in the series, “Multi-species Grazing and Leafy Spurge” integrates grazing animals, such as sheep with cattle, to help reduce leafy spurge densities. Production on the third set in the series, “Herbicide Control of Leafy Spurge” has begun. Available in mid-November, the how-to manual on herbicides provides information on proper herbicide use, including calibration techniques for spray equipment, a general overview of the variety of herbicides available for use against leafy spurge, and how to use herbicides with other pest management strategies.

If you are interested in any of the materials listed above, please contact the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 North Central Avenue in Sidney, MT, or phone 406 433-2020. You may also e-mail teamls[at] or visit TEAM Leafy Spurge’s website at for many of these publications and further information on leafy spurge.

Funded by USDA-Agricultural Research Service and managed cooperatively with the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, TEAM Leafy Spurge stresses partnerships, teamwork and a cooperative approach to solving the leafy spurge problem. TEAM members include state and federal agencies, state Cooperative Extension Services, land grant universities, weed managers, county and other local entities, and private landowners and ranchers.

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TEAM Leafy Spurge Releases Newest IPM Manual:

Herbicide Control of Leafy Spurge

October 30, 2002

TEAM Leafy Spurge has announced publication of its third “how-to” manual on leafy
spurge management, entitled Herbicide Control of Leafy Spurge. The latest manual to be
published in TEAM Leafy Spurge’s integrated pest management series on leafy spurge,
the 40-page Herbicide Control of Leafy Spurge can aid producers in evaluating and
selecting a herbicide management plan tailored to their needs. The manual is easy to read
and its small size is practical and convenient in the field.

The herbicide control manual covers the basics, including a leafy spurge summary,
herbicide overviews, sprayer calibration, the economics of herbicide use, and useful
integrated pest management strategies incorporating herbicides with other control tools. A
unique feature of this manual is an informational chart listing common leafy spurge
herbicides, their application rates, time of application, potential level of control and
precautions for their use.

Herbicides continue to be a popular, but expensive, tool for controlling leafy spurge;
consequently they are most frequently used to stamp out small patches and to restrict the
spread of larger infestations. Herbicides have also been integrated successfully with other
management techniques, including grazing and biological control. However, before using
herbicides land managers must first determine which management option or combination
of options is suitable economically and environmentally for tackling their leafy spurge
infestation. This manual helps them make that determination.

Developed by TEAM Leafy Spurge, the manual was authored by leafy spurge herbicide
expert, Dr. Rod Lym of North Dakota State University-Fargo and coauthored by Dr. Chad
Prosser of Theodore Roosevelt National Park-Medora, ND; Celestine Duncan of Weed
Management Services-Helena, MT; Dr. Dean Bangsund of North Dakota State University
Department of Agricultural Economics-Fargo; and Dr. Gerry Anderson, Northern Plains
Agricultural Research Laboratory, Sidney, MT.

“TEAM Leafy Spurge is eager to disseminate this herbicide information because of its
importance to any land manager with leafy spurge infestations,” said TLS’s program
director, Gerry Anderson. “It can aid the land manager in choosing an economical and an
ecologically safe strategy for incorporating herbicides into their leafy spurge management

Two earlier manuals in the IPM series, Biological Control of Leafy Spurge and
Multi-species Grazing and Leafy Spurge, were matched with their own informational
resource CD-ROMs. This manual will follow suit with its individual resource CD, Herbicide
Control of Leafy Spurge, currently under development and scheduled to become available
later this winter. That CD will feature an electronic version of its namesake manual, a photo
gallery, a narrated PowerPoint presentation, and other TEAM Leafy Spurge publications.

The Herbicide Control of Leafy Spurge manual, along with other products of TEAM Leafy
Spurge, are available by contacting Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory,
P.O. Box 463, Sidney, MT 59270; 406-433-2020; fax 406-433-5038. For faster service,
you may also order through the TEAM Leafy Spurge website at or by e-mail to teamls[at]

TEAM Leafy Spurge is a six-year IPM research and demonstration project funded and led
by the USDA-ARS in partnership with the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service. Its goal is to provide landowners and land managers with proven IPM strategies
for leafy spurge control.

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TEAM Leafy Spurge Delivers Resource Materials to Six-State Region

April 30, 2002

(USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, Sidney, MT)  TEAM Leafy Spurge has distributed more than 1,800 Information Resource Center sets to Extension Agents, Weed Supervisors and other interested parties across a six-state region. The Information Resource Centers are three-ring binders sporting a collection of informational and educational resources about biological control and the Integrated Pest Management of leafy spurge. Also receiving binders were municipal weed supervisors in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada, and the following federal and state agencies: Bureau of Land Management; Bureau of Indian Affairs; U.S. Forest Service; National Park Service; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Fish and Wildlife Service (North Dakota); Department of Transportation (North Dakota) and Parks and Recreation Department (North Dakota). Included in the binders are numerous CD-ROMs, brochures, manuals and reports developed by TEAM Leafy Spurge and aimed at helping public and private land managers combat leafy spurge. Among the CDs are the latest update of the popular Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database and Biological Control of Leafy Spurge, the first in a series of CDs highlighting different IPM techniques for leafy spurge control. Additional materials in that IPM series – including CDs and manuals on herbicides and multi-species grazing – as well as other items currently being developed by TLS, will be mailed to binder recipients as they become available. TEAM Leafy Spurge is a five-year research and demonstration project funded by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in cooperation with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Two New CDs published by TEAM Leafy Spurge

April 30, 2002

SIDNEY – TEAM Leafy Spurge has released two new free CD-ROMs on leafy spurge management that provide information on controlling spurge by using a variety of integrated pest management approach.

The most recent release is entitled: "Biological Control of Leafy Spurge." The second CD is an updated version of the popular "Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database" CD-ROM last published in 1995. Both are free and may be ordered individually or in bulk.

"Both have been popular with their audiences, with the initial 5,000 CDs nearly gone. A second run is on order," says Chad Prosser, a TEAM coordinator at USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, Mont.

"Biological Control of Leafy Spurge: Informational Resource CD" is the first release in TEAM Leafy Spurge’s new IPM Information Series on leafy spurge management. While it focuses on biological control, it and other CDs in the series are designed to be used together to help landowners and land managers develop biologically based integrated pest management plans for leafy spurge control on their rangeland.

This first CD offers a comprehensive overview of how to obtain and use biological control agents to control leafy spurge. It is intended as a companion to the "Biological Control of Leafy Spurge" manual that has been distributed to more than 40,000 individuals, organizations and agencies in 27 states and four Canadian provinces. The popular manual is included on the CD in the free Acrobat Reader format along with a "how-to" Microsoft PowerPoint presentation on biological control of spurge; a poster/publication section, a photo gallery, an extensive bibliography, and more.

The TEAM Leafy Spurge CD was produced by Steve Merritt, former TLS technical information specialist, and R. D. Richard, USDA-APHIS PPQ in Bozeman, Mont., along with the aid of NPARL staff. (Richard coauthored a leafy spurge photo gallery CD also issued by TEAM Leafy Spurge in January 2000. That product has been incorporated into this latest offering to provide end users with a convenient, single source of reference on the biological control of leafy spurge.) In addition to biological control, future CDs in the series will cover multi-species grazing for leafy spurge control, along with herbicide use.

The goal of the series is to "bring the expert to the end user," says TEAM Leafy Spurge Project Manager Gerry Anderson. That one-to-one approach is accomplished through a 20-minute, narrated, "how-to" Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, which TEAM Leafy Spurge scientists helped to develop.

The "Biological Control of Leafy Spurge" CD also features a photo gallery with more than 200 images in a variety of formats that the viewer can use in their own presentations or publications. And finally, the CD also sports additional resources such as insect profiles for 11 released biological control agents of leafy spurge; ready-to-print informational posters, a selection of numerous TEAM Leafy Spurge publications and brochures, an extensive bibliography and more.

"This CD provides the end user with all the information they need to get started with biological control,” Prosser, TEAM's project coordinator, says. "And future CDs will do the same for those interested in multi-species grazing or herbicides as part of their integrated pest management plans."

Another product recently released by TEAM Leafy Spurge is the updated "Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database, Version 4.0" published in Nov. 2001. The original CD won a federal technology award for its innovative use of CD-ROM technology to incorporate more than 400 documents, photos, graphics and maps on leafy spurge control. This latest version now contains more than 900 documents, ranging from journal articles to Extension Service bulletins and symposium proceedings, all focusing on the weed, its impact and management options. Management techniques featured include biological control, chemical control, grazing and cultural practices, with an emphasis on combining two or more of these tools in an integrated pest management program for more effective leafy spurge control.

Both the "Biological Control of Leafy Spurge" and "Purge Spurge: Leafy Spurge Database, Version 4" are available from TEAM Leafy Spurge, USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 North Central Avenue, Sidney, MT; phone 406-433-2020; fax 406-433-5038 or, for faster service, you may order through the TEAM Leafy Spurge website at

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TEAM Leafy Spurge Publishes Grazing Manual

By Steve Merritt for the MSU News Service

Tuesday, June 26, 2001

SIDNEY, Montana – If you’re interested in using sheep to manage leafy spurge, TEAM Leafy Spurge has a must-read manual that will likely answer most of your questions.

"Multi-Species Grazing and Leafy Spurge" is a full-color, 28-page how-to handbook that focuses on multi-species grazing as a tool to manage leafy spurge, improve range health and productivity, and potentially add a profitable enterprise to existing ranch operations.

Tim Faller, director of the North Dakota State University-Hettinger Research Extension Center and leader of the TEAM Leafy Spurge multi-species grazing research and demonstration project, says the manual is a particularly good tool for ranchers who are new to the sheep business.

"The subtitle says ‘A comprehensive, easy-to-read manual on using multi-species grazing as an effective leafy spurge management tool,’ and that sums up my feelings about the manual," Faller said. "It’s an excellent tool for ranchers who don’t have any experience with sheep or goats, and for ranchers who are looking for alternative leafy spurge control tools." The manual covers all of the basics. Topics include how multi-species grazing works, what can be expected from multi-species grazing programs, diet selection, stocking rates, fencing requirements, predation and more. The manual also features an extensive section on economics.

"There are a lot of scenarios and a lot of things to think about, and economics is obviously one of the most important considerations," Faller said. "This manual walks ranchers through different types of economic considerations to see if multi-species grazing is a good fit for their existing operation." For example, sheep do not necessarily have to be profitable in order to add profitability to the entire operation, Faller said. In most cases, the economic benefits of multi-species grazing – such as leafy spurge control, enhanced range utilization, improved forage production, etc. – will exceed the costs of adding sheep to an existing operation. And, in some situations, ranchers can profit from sheep production as well as leafy spurge control.

"The manual provides some simple formulas that can be used to figure out the economics for your specific operation," Faller said. "The formulas alone are a really valuable tool." While some cattle ranchers may not like the idea of adding sheep to their cattle operations, Faller said multi-species grazing offers numerous benefits that should be considered if leafy spurge is a problem. "The manual identifies and discusses some common fallacies about mixing sheep and cattle, and I think that’s important," he said. "Cattle ranchers need to let go of any preconceived ideas they might have about sheep if they are looking for a long-term, sustainable solution to leafy spurge control."

The manual is available by calling 406-433-2020 or by sending an e-mail request to teamls[at] It can also downloaded or viewed on-line from the TEAM Leafy Spurge website at

TEAM Leafy Spurge is a five-year IPM research and demonstration project funded and led by the USDA-ARS in partnership with the USDA-Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service. It’s goal is providing landowners and land managers with proven leafy spurge control techniques based on IPM strategies.

For additional information on TEAM Leafy Spurge, leafy spurge biocontrol or Integrated Pest Management, see the TEAM Leafy Spurge website at or send an e-mail to teamls[at]

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New Leafy Spurge Biocontrol Manual Available

By Steve Merritt for the MSU News Service

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

SIDNEY, Montana — TEAM Leafy Spurge has teamed up with the USDA-APHIS and North Dakota Department of Agriculture to produce "Biological Control of Leafy Spurge," a full color, 20-page manual on using leafy spurge flea beetles.

The how-to manual provides step-by-step instructions on implementing a biocontrol program for leafy spurge using flea beetles. It details the entire process, from obtaining flea beetles and picking release sites to evaluating success, harvesting and redistributing flea beetles, and integrating biocontrol with other leafy spurge management tools.

Gerry Anderson, co-principal investigator of the TEAM Leafy Spurge program, said the manual is a great resource for anyone interested in biological control of leafy spurge.

"It’s easy to read and extremely informative," Anderson said. "People who follow the guidelines listed in the manual will definitely improve their chances of effectively incorporating biological control into their leafy spurge management plans.

The manual is a revised version of "Biological Control of Leafy Spurge Using Flea Beetles in North Dakota," originally compiled in 1998 by Dave Hirsch, USDA-APHIS PPQ officer in Bismarck, N.D., and Dave Nelson, state entomologist for the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. The original manual was "one of the best resources available" for information about using leafy spurge flea beetles, Anderson said, but its focus was limited to North Dakota.

"Our goal is making the same information available to people throughout the northern Great Plains," Anderson said.

Hirsch, who has worked with leafy spurge flea beetles since the mid-1980s, said the best thing about the manual is the quality of information it contains.

"Information used in the manual was collected by a lot of people with a lot of experience," Hirsch said. "That’s what makes it so useful — it’s information from people with plenty of hands-on experience, from people who know what really works."

Key contributors to the manual include the North Dakota Biocontrol Steering Committee, the North Dakota State University departments of Entomology and Plant Sciences, the USDA-APHIS PPQ/Biological Control of Weeds Laboratory in Bozeman (Montana), the North Dakota Weed Control Association and the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney (Montana).

Single copies of the manual can be downloaded as a PDF from the TEAM Leafy Spurge web site at

The manual is also available from state departments of agriculture, state USDA-APHIS PPQ offices, state BLM offices and other sources in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Anyone interested in obtaining multiple copies of the manual for distribution at field days or similar activities should contact TEAM Leafy Spurge by e-mailing a request to teamls[at], or by writing to TEAM Leafy Spurge, USDA-ARS NPARL, 1500 N. Central Ave., Sidney, MT 59270.

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