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By GARY OLSEN

Weed Coordinator for Wheatland County

Since the middle part of 2016, the Wheatland County

Weed Board, coordinator and producers on rangeland in the

county, have been busy getting ready for the deadline of Dec.

1 to submit grant proposals to the Montana Department of

Agriculture Noxious Weed Trust Fund grants. The grants are

a 50 percent cost-share grant with partners of local ranchers

and the Montana Department of Agriculture. The grants help

land managers control noxious weeds on terrestrial and ri-

parian areas in which these weeds thrive. Noxious weeds can

decrease production of desired native vegetation, accelerate

water loss in the soil profile, encourage water runoff due to

lack of cover and cause discomforts to humans and livestock.

On Feb. 28, FFA students from Harlowton and Judith Gap,

Gary and Marilyn Olsen, and Jed Evjene from the American

Fork Ranch, presented four Trust Fund grant proposals to

the trust fund board. The following grants were approved for

Wheatland and neighboring counties.

Judith Gap Weed Management Area:

The grant will assist local land managers, including pri-

vate range and pasture owners, BNSF Railroad, wind farms,

Minute Man Missile approaches and surrounding right-of-

ways, Montana DOT, U.S. Forest Service, sportsmen groups,

state lands in the Judith

Gap Weed Management

Area.

Involved are 20 different

landowners in Wheatland

County, as well as joining

owners in Judith Basin,

and Fergus counties. There

are about 268,800 acres in

the area. Methods for weed

control will be mapping,

grazing, biological and her-

bicides.

Leafy spurge, sulphur

cinquefoil, spotted knap-

weed,

Canada

thistle,

hound’s-tongue, white top

and perennial pepper weed

are all present in this area.

To help control these

weeds, we apply them with

recommended herbicides

at the recommended rate. We use livestock for the suppres-

sion of leafy spurge (sheep and goats) and also insects (

Aph-

thona lacertosa

and

Obera erythrocephala

are the main agents

used on leafy spurge).

Ag in Action 2017

Gary Olsen

20

Wheatland County’s weed story:

grant funding leads to better weed management

Continued on page 21