True Environmentalists control noxious weeds

May is noxious weed month in South Dakota as landowners are urged to control their acres by managing noxious weeds which negatively affect agriculture, water quality, recreational opportunities, and wildlife.

South Dakota currently notes seven noxious weeds including: Canada thistle, Leafy spurge, Perennial sow thistle, Hoary cress, Russian knapweed, Purple loosestrife, and Saltcedar. Additionally, some counties can list up to eight locally noxious weeds such as Field bindweed, Musk and Plumeless thistle, and Wormwood sage.

“Noxious weeds threaten the integrity of all the lands in South Dakota. 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,” South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones said.

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture estimates that weeds cost farmers and ranchers millions annually in lost productivity of range and cropland, and 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.

“Farmers and ranchers alike have both moral and financial reasons to control weeds that would compete for moisture and nutrients with their crops whether they are grains or grasses,” said South Dakota Corn Growers Association President, Gary Duffy, “Today’s farmers are adapting to things like precision application and GPS technology while spraying their land to ensure that they aren’t over applying while covering their ground.”

Properly controlling noxious weeds is just another reason why South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers are the True Environmentalists.

For more information on noxious weeds in South Dakota, the South Dakota State Ag & Bio Communications Department has created an iPod App compatible with iPad and iPhone to help producers identify their noxious weeds. Download it today.

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