Governor proclaims May as Noxious Weed Control Awareness Month

Farm Forum

PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard declared May as South Dakota Noxious Weed Awareness Month to highlight the importance of managing noxious weeds, which negatively affect agriculture, water quality, recreational opportunities and wildlife.

“Noxious weeds threaten the integrity of all the lands in South Dakota,” said Ron Moehring, South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) Weed and Pest Control specialist. “By working together, we can effectively control noxious weed infestations and minimize the threat weeds pose to agriculture, our natural lands, and our quality of life.”

Seven weeds are currently listed as noxious in South Dakota, including Canada thistle, Leafy spurge, Perennial sow thistle, Hoary cress, Russian knapweed, Purple loosestrife and Saltcedar. In addition, counties can list up to eight locally noxious weeds such as Field bindweed, Musk and Plumeless thistle and Wormwood sage.

Weeds cost landowners millions annually in lost productivity of range and cropland. Noxious weeds have infested more than three million acres in South Dakota. Federal agencies estimate that noxious weeds are spreading on federal public lands at a rate of 4,600 acres per day.

To protect the state’s lands, SDDA has implemented an aggressive program to manage weeds. The Department of Ag has helped communities form partnerships and coordinate weed management activities and the State Weed and Pest Control Commission has distributed $380,000 in grants to assist counties and others in their weed management efforts.

You can help by working to identify and manage the noxious weeds in your community.

For more information on South Dakota’s noxious weed program, contact your local county weed supervisor or Ron Moehring at 605 773-3796.