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Beetle release battles noxious weeds

Beetle release battles noxious weeds

By Scout Nelson

North Dakota is taking a biological approach to manage the invasive weed leafy spurge by organizing field days for the collection and redistribution of flea beetles, a natural predator of the weed.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring highlighted the effectiveness of this method as part of an integrated pest management plan, emphasizing its importance in controlling one of the state's most challenging noxious weeds.

The field days are scheduled for June 20 and June 25 at Franks Creek Road north of Fryberg, Billings County. Attendees are advised to travel via U.S. Highway 85 from Belfield, turning west onto Franks Creek Road for about 14-15 miles to reach the designated collection sites, which are suitable for vehicles like pickups or four-wheel drives.

Participants are encouraged to bring a cooler with ice packs for transporting the beetles and sweep nets for collection, if available. Each participant will play a role in collecting the beetles, with all beetles collected being distributed evenly among them.

This initiative, co-hosted by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and local weed boards, not only helps control leafy spurge but also fosters community involvement in sustainable agricultural practices. For more details and directions, attendees can contact Katie Dillman, the local weed control officer for Billings County, at (701) 218-0113.

These field days represent a practical and environmentally friendly strategy to address a significant agricultural challenge, demonstrating North Dakota's commitment to innovative and effective pest management solutions.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-zoomtravels

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