Leafy Spurge Management in Shrub Steppe Rangeland

Report for FW07-009

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2007: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Craig Madsen
Healing Hooves LLC
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Project Information

Abstract:

The noxious weed leafy spurge is rapidly spreading across rangelands in many parts of the West, reducing grass production for cattle and increasing rancher reliance on herbicides for control. Spurge-attacking insect releases have met with limited success, and the effectiveness of costly herbicides is often reduced by rough terrain, restrictions on some aerial applications and the spurge’s proximity to streams. This Farmer/Rancher project aims to change the producer mindset from trying to eradicate leafy spurge to one of sustainable integrated pest management. The project coordinator will demonstrate how goats can be used, alongside other tools like insects, to manage noxious weeds like leafy spurge. Project coordinator Craig Madsen will inventory range plants and install insect monitoring transects. He will then use 250 head of goats and kids for two treatments, each scheduled for three to four weeks over two years, documenting results each year.

Cooperators

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  • Tom Platt

Research

Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.