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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Pest Management Research » Research » Research Project #435122

Research Project: Reducing the Impact of Invasive Weeds in Northern Great Plains Rangelands through Biological Control and Community Restoration

Location: Pest Management Research

Project Number: 3032-21220-002-07-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Aug 6, 2018
End Date: Aug 5, 2023

Objective:
Conduct research with USDA/BLM on weeds that are problems on BLM lands. Weeds include saltcedar, hoary cress, field bindweed, Canada thistle, leafy spurge, hawkweeds, Russian olive and the knapweeds. The search for new biological control agents will be conducted by USDA/ARS/Sidney and USDA/ARS/EBCL. Insects cleared for testing in U.S. will be evaluated in quarantine eventually released by USDA/ARS/Sidney.

Approach:
Ecological and genetic studies will be performed on weed targets and potential biological control agents. Restoration ecology research will be performed to enhance ecosystem services after removal and control of noxious weeds. Exploration for biological control agents will be conducted in Europe and Asia for insects and pathogens which show potential as control agents for priority noxious weeds. Once identified, the agents will be tested for host-specificity and efficacy. This is a long-term process, extending over three to ten years for new agents. Once tests are completed on a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) list of plants, a report of the test results will be submitted to APHIS/PPQ and TAG. Agents approved for quarantine and/or release via quarantine will be collected and sent to the appropriate quarantine facility for processing. Cleared biological control agents will be released on BLM administered lands by ARS, Sidney, MT. Post-release monitoring for establishment and impact on the targeted weed species will follow these releases. All programmatic changes must be approved in advance by NPS.