The fight against the spread of the noxious weed, leafy spurge, united landowners at Powderville in summer 2018. The annual MSU Extension Range/Weed tour focused on all available tools for the containment and control of this noxious weed. The Powder River is completely infested, with control efforts primarily aimed at keeping the leafy spurge from spreading into alfalfa meadows; and using sheep and goats to utilize infested acres. Landowners on the tour encountered a sea of leafy spurge and questioned whether the past two decades of biological control (flea beetles and other insects which interfere with a plant’s life cycle) were of any use. After being armed with sweep nets and harvesting a healthy, substantial population of biological-control agents, the question then became, “what would this area look like without bio-control agents?” The spokesperson with Montana Bio Weed Control encouraged landowners to integrate weed management using a variety of control methods and besieged them, “don’t ever give up!”


To learn more about Powder River County, see their program highlights.


Image credit:Powder River County landowners use sweep nets to collect flea beetles. Photo courtesy Powder River County MSU Extension