Leafy spurge is an exotic, noxious, perennial weed which is widely established in the north central United States and is an especially serious problem in the northern Great Plains. In 1997, the Agricultural Research Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, US Department of Agriculture, initiated a major Integrated Pest Management (IPM) research and demonstration project, The Ecological Area-wide Management (TEAM) Leafy Spurge (TLS), to develop and demonstrate ecologically based IPM strategies that can produce effective, affordable leafy spurge control. A key component of the TLS project was expanding the use of biological control agents. To assess the level of insect utilization and implementation and the level of current and perceived future control of leafy spurge as a result of biological control agents, a mail survey of 468 individuals that obtained biological control agents (insects) at TLS-sponsored events and of all the county weed boards in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming was conducted. Forty-six percent of the landowner/land managers and 70% of the county weed boards responded to the questionnaire. Respondents reported basic information about the number and characteristics of release sites, and characteristics of the leafy spurge stands, as well as the level of control to date and perceived level of eventual control.
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Vol. 59 • No. 5