Noxious Weed Control Awareness Month

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Farm Forum

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

There are seven weeds listed on South Dakota’s Noxious Weed list. They are: Canada thistle, Leafy spurge, Hoary cress, Perennial sow thistle, Purple loosestrife, Saltcedar and Russian knapweed.

“Noxious weeds cost landowners over 80 million dollars annually in lost productivity in range and cropland,” said Ron Moehring, state weed and pest supervisor. “Noxious weeds have infested nearly two and a half million acres in South Dakota. Federal agencies estimate that noxious weeds are spreading on federal public lands at a rate of 4600 acres per day.”

To protect the state’s lands, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) has implemented an aggressive weed management program. In addition, the State Weed and Pest Control Commission has distributed $650,000 a year in grants the past two years to assist counties and others with weed management efforts. The same amount will be available again for fiscal year 2017.

“Noxious weeds threaten the integrity of all lands in South Dakota,” said Moehring. “By working together, we can effectively control noxious weed infestations and minimize the threat the weeds pose to agriculture. Please report any new sightings to your county weed and pest supervisor or the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.”