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Ag in Action 2017

16

Leafy spurge

Spotted knapweed

In compliance with Montana State Noxious

Weed Laws, the county weed supervisors will

help you identify potential noxious weeds -

and assist you with weed management plans.

The most effective method for managing

noxious weeds is to prevent their invasion.

You can help.

Leafy spurge is a perennial weed that spreads both by seed

and rhizomes. It is very aggressive and can establish quickly

if neglected. The plants begin to flower in June and continue

through July. A key identifying characteristic of leafy spurge

is the milky white substance flowing through the stems and

leaves. Leafy spurge can be difficult to manage because

of its extensive root system and may require an integrated

approach. Integrated approaches include utilizing bio-

controls, cultural methods, and herbicide treatments. These

may include sheep grazing, predatory bugs, preventative

management as well as proper herbicide applications. Hand

pulling is not effective because leafy spurge reproduces

prolifically through rhizomes (underground stems).

Spotted knapweed is a biennial or short-lived perennial weed

that spreads via seed. One plant is capable of producing one

million seeds and therefore knapweed is capable of spreading

quickly. The plants begin to flower in July and will continue

through September. A key identifying characteristic are

the black bracts located below the flower head. Spotted

knapweed releases toxins that kill surrounding vegetation

and reduce competition. The most effective way to manage

spotted knapweed is through proper herbicide treatments;

however, bio-controls are available and hand pulling can be

effective over a length of time.

Houndstongue

For more info, contact your

Fergus County Weed District Office

(406) 535-3970

Brady Cannon, Fergus County Weed Coordinator

fcweeds@co.fergus.mt.us

Houndstongue is a biennial plant that has been known to live

for longer than two years in some environments. It begins to

bloom in early June and continues through July. The key

identifying characteristics are the basal leaves that resemble

a hound’s tongue and the bolting stalk that produces pink and

purple flowers. Houndstongue is a prolific spreader because of

its velcro-like tear drop shaped seeds that attach to just about

anything. Hand pulling can be an effective management tool

for houndstongue because of its two year life cycle. It is very

important to pull skeletons from past years as well as actively

growing plants to effectively manage houndstongue. Herbicide

treatments are effective in areas where infestations are too thick

for hand pulling.

F

ergus

C

ounty

W

eed

D

istrict

Workshops offered

Fergus County Weed District will host a

Pesticide Ap-

plicator Training at the Eagle’s Club

on Wednesday,

April 26, 2017.

The workshop will cover a variety of topics

and provide 4 credits towards applicator licenses. In addi-

tion, Fergus County Weed District will host a

three hour

workshop focusing on the basics of weed management

for small landowners. This workshop is sponsored by

the Central Montana Education Center and will take

place Thursday, April 27, 2017. To register please con-

tact the Fergus County Weed District.