Public hearing set on proposed changes to N.D. noxious weed listAgriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has called a public hearing to gather testimony on proposed changes to North Dakota’s state noxious weeds list.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has called a public hearing to gather testimony on proposed changes to North Dakota’s state noxious weeds list.
The hearing will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 12, at the Best Western Seven Seas Hotel, 2611 Old Red Trail, in Mandan, during the 2010 Agriculture Commissioner’s Weed Forum.
“The proposed rule designates yellow toadflax as a noxious weed,” Goehring said. “At the same time, it removes the designation from field bindweed and yellow starthistle.”
Goehring said field reports, the advice of North Dakota State University weed scientists and the results of a public survey were the determining factors for North Dakota Department of Agriculture weed control specialists in developing the proposed changes.
“Yellow toadflax is definitely on the increase and is proving very difficult to control – one NDSU scientist says it could be the next leafy spurge,” he said. “In the meantime, there appears to be no known infestations of yellow starthistle anywhere in the state.”
Goehring said the decision to remove field bindweed, also known as creeping jenny, from the list has been considered for several years.
“It’s a nuisance, but it is relatively easy to manage and does not seem to have much economic impact,” he said.
A noxious weed is a plant determined by the agriculture commissioner to be injurious to public health, crops, livestock, land or other property. In addition to field bindweed and yellow starthistle, North Dakota’s noxious weeds now include absinth wormwood, Canada thistle, musk thistle, Dalmatian toadflax, diffuse knapweed, Russian knapweed, spotted knapweed, leafy spurge, purple loosestrife and saltcedar. Marijuana, hoary cress and perennial sowthistle were formerly listed as noxious weeds.
“The noxious weed designation is important because noxious weeds get the greatest share of weed control funding and because failure to control noxious weeds can be a class B misdemeanor,” Goehring said.
Goehring said NDDA staff considered but ultimately rejected houndstongue and black henbane as noxious weeds.
“It was decided that the noxious weed list should be kept short in order to focus resources on those weeds that present the greatest threat to pastureland and to the environment,” he said. “Counties have the option of declaring other weeds as noxious, subject to consultation with the NDSU extension service and approval by the agriculture commissioner.”
After reviewing the testimony, Goehring will determine if and when the proposed changes will be implemented.