Leafy spurge combatted with flea beetles in Morton County
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Leafy spurge is a noxious weed many North Dakota producers have to deal with. There is one beetle, though, that helps producers keep the weed in control.
These people are not hoping to catch butterflies but instead are looking for a small insect that helps control leafy spurge density in North Dakota.
“They’re another tool in the toolbox for landowners to use to help control the weeds in addition to spraying and grazing, whatever else they use,” said John Mortenson, plant specialist.
Leafy spurge infests more than 800,00 acres of land in North Dakota, and the beetles are just one way to help control the weed.
“The beatles do take awhile. It’s not an instant. It’s not like you’re going to put a release out next year and not have any spurge, they do take a few years. It’s not a silver bullet,” said Mortenson.
Producers that don’t want to use herbicides can opt for beetles. They’re also more cost-effective. Or it’s recommended to use a mix of the methods.
“Try to incorporate all elements together. That is the best way to control and combat these obnoxious invasive weeds,” said Richard Weisz, noxious weed specialist.
Farmers are hoping to collect enough beetles to do a couple of releases of 5,000 beetles or more for producer’s crops.
This was the sixth public collection day in North Dakota for flea beetles.
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