Weed acres at 6 million

Weed acres at 6 million Nearly six million acres of noxious weeds were reported by county weed and pest programs across South Dakota in 1999, according to Darrell Deneke, Extension integrated pest management coordinator at South Dakota State University.

These reported noxious weeds included field bindweed, Canada thistle, leafy spurge, hoary cress, Russian knapweed, purple loosestrife, and local noxious weeds, musk thistle, plumeless thistle, and absinth wormwood.

According to Deneke, infestations are made up of 68 percent field bindweed in field crops, 63 percent Canada thistle in crops and grassland, and 65 percent leafy spurge in grassland.

"One of the areas that showed the largest increase in noxious weed infestations was in the non-crop acres," said Deneke.

The report estimated 1.5 million acres of noxious weeds, which is up from 900,000 acres in 1997. Non-crop areas include fencelines, right-of-way, farmyards, and non-production acres.

According to the report, the lost production from the state noxious weeds is estimated at over $180 million. The reported acres of the local noxious weeds, musk and plumeless thistle and absinth wormwood, show a production loss of over $30 million for a combined production loss of over $210 million.

Of the noxious weeds reported, field bindweed, Canada thistle, and leafy spurge show the highest crop and forage losses to South Dakota producers, said Deneke.

Noxious weed estimates are based on the reported acres from the 1999 South Dakota Weed and Pest Annual Report.

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