- [Announcer] Montana Ag Live is made possible by (upbeat music plays) the Montana Department of Agriculture, MSU Extension, the MSU Ag Experiment Stations of the College of Agriculture, the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, Cashman Nursery & Landscaping, the Northern Pulse Growers Association, and the Gallatin Gardeners Club.
(upbeat music continues) - Good evening.
If you haven't guessed it, you are tuned to another new edition of Montana Ag Live originating again tonight from the studios of KUSM on the very vibrant campus we call Montana State University and coming to you over your Montana public television system.
Before I go any further tonight, I have to make a statement in the immortal words of Dr. Hayden Ferguson, who sat in this chair for many, many years, "Happy Mother's Day to all of you who qualify, and for those of you who don't, you can have a nice day Anyway."
I'll never forget Hayden saying that it was a nice way to wish everybody out there Happy Mother's Day.
Can have a fun program tonight.
We have a real unique guest, the dean of all county extension agents in the state of Montana, we'll get to that in a little bit.
But before we do that, let me introduce tonight's panel.
On the far left Mary Burrows, plant pathologist by trade, part-time in the dean's office, associate director, Mary's been here many times.
Thanks for coming in.
And Mary, happy Mother's Day.
I see you got a Mother's Day Cup from your kids.
- I did, thank you.
- Our special guest tonight, Jerry Marks.
Jerry Marks has been the county agent in Missoula County for 53 years.
He's done a wonderful job in that county.
We're gonna talk about that in a little bit when I come back to Jerry and let you know a little bit more what he has done.
Jane Mangold, we had her here last week as our special guest.
She's been demoted to the panel tonight.
And I always say she's an invasive plant specialist.
I like to call her a weed scientist, but whatever.
She's here to answer your weed questions.
And you know, if you live in Montana, you do have some weed issues.
So excellent time to get on the phone tonight and call those questions in.
And Abi Saeed, Abi, it's great to have you here again.
She's a horticulturalist.
If you have any questions pertaining to horticultural problems, garden problems, when to do this, when not to do that, here's an excellent chance to phone those questions in.
And taking our question tonight, I brought in the big guns to answer the questions.
Sreekala Bajwa, she's the dean and director and vice president of the College of Agriculture.
And Cody Stone, Cody is the executive director of the Montana Extension Service.
I'm gonna go back to Jerry, but before we do that, let me tell you a little bit about Jerry.
Jerry's been a county agent since early 1960s?
- [Jerry Marks] '69.
- [Moderator] '69 in Missoula County.
And when I used to go to Missoula County with a good friend of mine, cohort, Pete Faye, we used to drive into Missoula County and Pete would say, welcome to spurgeville.
And actually it looked like it was a noxious weed herbarium in that area.
And then along came Jerry, he was around, and back in, I believe 1985 things started to change.
So Jerry, tell us why we no longer have that serious noxious weed problem over there?
- Well, I'm gonna give you a little more background that I think is important for all extension people, but also anybody that's in the non-profit world, business world in there.
So about some several steps that I guess I learned that I think is important.
And the first one is build and (indistinct) trust with the people.
That is really important if you're gonna make change.
The second is what is the mission, the project, and is their passion about it?
The third one, it takes collaboration, teamwork, partnership, whatever it is.
But projects are more successful when you have a team put together.
The third or fourth thing on my list is work to empower the people.
It's, leadership development is really critical.
Second, if you're doing projects that there's funding involved, especially through the county, you've gotta set up some way that's, you have some transparency in the capital allocation so that people can see it and follow it.
And we set up two soft funded funds in through the program here.
And the last one is, and that maybe that fits to my 53 years, is most projects tend to be long term.
There's never a quicker easy answer.
So I developed that back kind of background in putting projects together.
So when the commissioners asked me to try to do more with a noxious weed problem, and at that point spotted knapweed was the big one and it had surpassed the 600,000 acres.
It was on every street corner, every hillside, every pasture, every fence line had spotted knapweed.
And there was a rising concern over the use of herbicide.
There was two lawsuits at the time over the use of herbicides.
And I think another big thing that moved the county commissioners, spotted knapweed, a lot of people are allergic to spotted knapweed.
And the children's ward, the first week in August was full, because that pollen just filled that valley.
So that was what I had to deal with.
And so I went through quite a long process, well, could you improve the enforcement program?
And in the county attorney's office wasn't excited about that, nor were the judge.
And so it really got me to thinking, well there's gotta be some other approach.
And I think the critical one was make it a landowner, land manager project, not a county control program.
I think that was key.
- You know, Jerry, whatever you did over there has really worked well.
I know Jane has been very impressed with the program and a lot of it is biological weed control and it's a combination.
I've often said that Missoula County really preferred not to use herbicides.
And you've mentioned that yes, you do use some herbicides.
- And you have a term for that?
Yeah, Basically we created what we call the toolbox.
In all the tools, which is herbicides, biological grazing, rebed are fitting in this toolbox.
And so it's really trying to educate, train the landowners, land managers to make some decisions on which tools are going to work for their situation.
- Okay, Gary, thank you.
You've done a great job.
We'll get back to you.
We have some questions via email.
I haven't heard the phones ring a lot.
The numbers up on the screen.
888-828-5676, noxious weed questions.
We got two people here that can answer 'em tonight and horticultural questions.
And we had one come in via email and they said they've looked, Abi, at the long-term weather forecast and through the 28th of May here in Bozeman we are not supposed to drop into the thirties.
Is it safe to plant your tomatoes and peppers?
- I am always hesitant.
I would say I would wait until you get to Memorial Day at least, before you plant those warm loving veggies and you know, be prepared to protect them if you do plant them in the next couple of weeks.
But I would wait.
I like to air on the side of being cautious.
- [Moderator] You know, they don't grow very fast - No.
- [Moderator] When you have 35-40 degree nights, so.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Jane, a question from Lewistown.
They have cinquefoil, I don't know what cinquefoil is.
They say it's shrubby cinquefoil on rangeland pasture.
Is there a way to get rid of it?
It's not obnoxious weed, it's an obnoxious weed, right?
If it's shrubby cinquefoil, that's the native shrub.
- And it is a tenacious plant.
It doesn't necessarily invade, but it is a hardy plant.
It's fairly common in kind of lower montane, higher elevation pasture and range land, moister than dryer.
And you know, you could do some mowing, you could do a herbicide application, but it would be challenging to get rid of that plant completely without having a lot of collateral damage, if you will.
So if there's grazing in the area, you could maybe do some creative grazing to try to decrease it or increase the competitiveness of the other species around it.
- Okay, thank you.
Jerry, this is for you and Jane, the question here from Bozeman, and they've heard me say this before.
Our citywide flower called Canada thistle does not have a biological control agent, does it?
And if so, is there one being developed?
Either one of you have an idea of what's going on there.
- Do you want me to take that Jerry, or do you wanna take it?
- Well we've certainly talked about Canada thistle.
And I guess I'll say this generally from the the insect world, there's too many other native thistles that insects that'll attack Canada move to that.
But there has been some insects released on Canada thistle.
One of the current projects that's being worked on is rust.
- [Jane Mangold] Punctiformis.
- Punctiformis, yes, I think that's right.
- [Jane Mangold] We can get the pathologists involved on this program too.
- That's right, that's right.
Anyway, we're working on that and actually have a study going to see if it can be implemented and we collect a lot of that rust and distributed.
- [Moderator] Do you have a lot of Canada thistle in Missoula County?
- Not nearly like we have some of the others, but it does come up in the particular forested areas if there's much disturbance and there is also in some of the pasture areas and gardens, whatever, we do have Canada thistle.
- [Moderator] All right, thank you.
Jane, check it?
- I would, yeah, I would just add that the Puccinia that Jerry mentioned, it's more in a research stage than a like, commercially available or even.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Encouraging people to move it around.
So it's more in the research stage than the application stage.
- [Moderator] Okay.
So right now a good chemical control is still about the best for Canada thistle?
- Well it's like Jerry was talking about the toolbox.
Canada thistle is so tenacious that it's, try a lot of different tools, mowing combined with herbicides, combined with hand pulling.
- If it's just in a, like a lawn setting where you don't have a lot of it, herbicides.
Yeah, it's, you need to do it all with Canada thistle.
- So I'm gonna get on my high horse here for a little bit, because we have a problem in Gallatin County with Canada thistle.
And it's a people problem I think, because they won't take care of their own noxious weeds problem.
And I don't know how you overcome that.
Jerry, you mentioned you have to do a lot of convincing to get people involved.
I don't know how we do that here in Gallatin County, but there are more candidate officials here than we need.
- Yes, I think you can focus on the plant and try to put projects together, but my experience is we had some success particular as you get away from Missoula or where you don't have a lot of subdivisions forming watershed groups, landowner groups.
And actually that was one of the things that led to the creation to the Noxious Weed Trust Fund.
- [Moderator] Good.
- That they wanted that and biological weed control.
As you get into the more urban areas, I still think it's important that whoever has the land, including whether it's the city or other county departments, they need to have some kind of vegetation program.
- [Moderator] I agree.
- And part of it is I think they also need to focus on what do they really want to grow.
- [Moderator] Yeah.
- That brings the economics out and the value to it.
- All right, Jerry, thank you.
Mary, question from Choteau and I've talked to a lot of people that I used to work with.
They say their wheat is still pretty yellow.
Is it a disease or do you think it's plain old nitrogen deficiency?
- If it's pretty uniform across the field, I'd go with nitrogen deficiency.
Be a little patient.
We do have some diseases that can make it yellow, some root rots and stuff, but a lot of times they'll come right out of it.
- You know, on that note, we talked about this a little bit, there's a lot of yellow yards, especially here in Bozeman.
And they're starting to turn darker green and I think as the roots get down to where the nitrogen leech down, because of our heavy snowfall, we'll see it turn green.
- [Mary Burrows] Yeah.
- It may mean that you might have to put a little extra nitrogen on this year, Abi?
- Yeah, yeah, I would say so.
I would say probably in the next couple of weeks would be a good time to add that.
If it's looking yellow, especially.
- I'm gonna wait till Memorial Day, 'cause I don't like mowing that much.
- Fair enough.
- Well I've got you up Abi.
This person from here in Bozeman has six pine trees that have turned brown in their backyard and what can we do about it?
And that's an email question and I asked you ahead of time to show what's actually going on, so.
- Yeah, we see a lot of this every year in the spring when kind of people are looking out at their evergreens, but broad leaf evergreens and narrow leaf evergreens like this commonly get winter injury or evergreen desiccation and they're just losing too much moisture that's not being replenished.
And so one of the best ways to kind of help them grow out of it is to make sure they're getting plenty of water.
And if you're watering, don't just water at the base water around the drip line of the tree, make sure that those roots are getting plenty of water and keep an eye on them.
If your tree looks completely brown, you can watch for kind of new buds and see if there's new growth coming to see how they might bounce back.
But it's a very common issue and in the future, preventing it in the fall by making sure that your evergreens are watered really well into the fall is a good way to help kind of mitigate that.
- I agree entirely and you can really avoid a lot of that in fall.
- [Mary Burrows] So you think that big, that brown tree is gonna make it?
- I'm not sure if it's completely, I would still give it time and see if the new growth will push out.
But it's possible.
Sometimes trees can go through a lot and bounce back, so.
- Abi, have you noticed if there are certain species that are more susceptible to this than others?
- Yeah, there are a few species that are more susceptible, but a lot of the times the broad leaf evergreens, like Mahonia and stuff are way more susceptible, because they have a larger surface area.
- [Jane Mangold] Okay.
- So they're respiring more.
But just the environment is a bigger impact too.
- Okay, thank you.
From Billings, they're looking for a recommendation for a broadleaf herbicide for use near trees and gardens.
Anything that you can think of?
That's a tough one.
- Yeah, so this sounds like a lawn setting.
There aren't a lot of different active ingredients that are labeled for like turf and lawn settings.
The most common herbicides that are used are just like 2,4-D and Dicamba, maybe some MCPA.
But I think the key here with that question is, you know, to use around trees and with any broadleaf herbicide, if you're spraying it around trees, you wanna stay outside the drip line.
So the drip line is, if you think about the canopy of a tree, it's where the like drop raindrops would and drip down into the grass.
Abi might have a, "Bet I've never thought about that definition."
- Like an umbrella, yeah.
- Yeah, like an umbrella.
So if you're using a broadleaf herbicide, you you wanna stay outside that umbrella that the canopy of the tree makes.
- And you don't want to be using it in the garden if you want to grow tomatoes, peppers.
- [Jane Mangold] Right, right.
- Cucumbers, anything like that.
- Right, So you have to be very careful if you're using broadleaf herbicides in a lawn setting, if you have broadleaf species around.
- Tomatoes can smell 2-4'D a quarter mile away, I can tell you that.
- Well, you know, Dicamba is very volatile and sometimes what we see happen is applications are made to a lawn or turf setting and that Dicamba actually volatilizes and then it's moving up into the air and it encounters leaves of trees or shrubs or whatnot.
So you do have to be very careful with Dicamba.
You know, I wanna show a picture to the camera here.
And this has to do with a new building at the Missoula County fairgrounds that is dedicated to Jerry Marks.
And if we can get a picture of this up on the screen.
It's called the Jerry Marks Exploration Center and Rocky Mountain Educational Gardens.
And there's also going to be a Tropical Butterfly Center in that same building.
It's to open later this year sometime.
And a lot of the Butterfly Center is in cooperation with the University of Montana.
A gentleman by the name of Doug Emlen.
Doug was a professor of genetics, I believe.
And cooperation with MSU and University of Montana and Missoula County has brought about this new building.
And Jerry, congratulations on that.
- [Jerry Marks] Well, thank you.
- That's well deserved.
Why, I've got you up.
I have a question here.
You have mosquito problems in Missoula, I'm told?
(Jerry Marks laughs) And this person wants to know what the extension of service does involving mosquito control from Missoula County.
Yeah, you don't want to answer that one.
- [Moderator] I'm not gonna touch it.
I know better.
- Well, we do have a mosquito problem along the Bitterroot River and the Clark Fork west of Missoula.
And generally to address the two you've gotta address a bigger area than the individuals.
And so the only area that's really gotten organized is down there at Lolo.
And so we do a combination of things of sampling, which bodies of water are producing the mosquitoes.
And then how do you handle 'em in the (indistinct).
There is programs that we use to manage the larvae and then you can also, and that's usually earlier in the spring.
And then as you get into the summer where you're having a lot more mosquitoes, if they can reach that point, you do it through a fogging thing.
- [Moderator] Okay.
- We've also gotten quite interested in more, maybe I'll say biological interest in bats are also effective eater of mosquitoes.
And so we have put up bat hotels and bat houses and so that's been our current project.
- Okay, thank you.
This question has come in the last two weeks from Glendive and we're going to get to it, it happens to be one of my least favorite plants.
How do you get rid of Sandbergs in a playground?
Jane, you'll love this one.
Sandbergs in a playground.
- Another name for Sandbergs, goat heads?
- Probably, yeah.
I'd have to think about that.
I wonder if it's in like a sandbox, gravelly area or if it's actually in the lawn, 'cause that might make a difference.
- They show up where ground is kind of misused.
- [Jane Mangold] Yes.
- Or heavily trampled.
- [Jane Mangold] Yes.
- [Moderator] Sandy.
- [Moderator] I think 2-4'D and Banville work a little bit, but we can double check that.
- And next time you're here.
- You'll have an excellent answer.
- Or the person can give me a call.
- My phone number is (406)-994-5513.
- I think it's on the screen.
- I have answered questions about Sandbergs before, but I just don't have the best options in my brain, in my memory.
- They're not really that prevalent in Montana.
It's only on Billings East.
- Yeah, Billings.
Most of the time I get a call about Sandbergs it's from the Billings area, Yellowstone County.
- Okay, thank you.
Mary, this question is from Toston.
And I don't believe we've had a question from Toston in a long time.
They say they're growing more corn in the towns of Toston area and they're alternating it with spring weed.
Is there an issue there?
- Yeah, there is.
And you might tell 'em what it is and how serious it can be.
- And it's already issue in that area, it's fusarium head blight and as you get corn moving into an area, you're gonna get head blight in your barley and your wheat.
Winter wheat tends to avoid it because it flowers early enough to avoid when the spore is moving in the air.
The spores live on decaying organic matter of cereals very commonly.
So you're getting the inoculum very locally and since corn doesn't decay very fast, that's where you're getting it from.
And it infects through the flower when the wheat is flowering.
So you need to use a combination of resistant varieties, cutting irrigation, which farmers hate to do.
And barley is particularly susceptible, especially since it has a longer flowering window.
There are certain fungicides you can use, but they have to be spray at the right time with a large amount of water.
And if it's cheap it's not gonna be effective.
- And if you have the problem, which we have had in this state, basically the grain is unmarketable.
- And North Dakota back in the early part of this century, lost a billion dollars in cereals in one year.
- That's why we've got the malt barley industry in Montana moved out of North Dakota.
- That's right.
Lewistown, this is a comment.
I, folks, we take comments and generally I like to air 'em if they're halfway reasonable.
If they're too critical, we may not, but this one is pretty good.
It says panel is narrowly focused.
For example, shrubby cinquefoil was a focus of the panel and the plant talked as if it was a problem plant.
But in reality, is a native plant important for wildlife?
Is that true?
- That is true, yep.
You know, I think, yeah, thanks for the comment.
When we, and Jerry, I'd be interested to hear your comments on this, but you know, weeds are a human, they're viewed from in the context of what a human's perception is of the plant.
So it's always, some plants, even some native plants can be viewed as weeds in some situations.
And there are also weeds that many people might think are weeds, but someone else sees them as beneficial.
- [Jerry Marks] Yep.
- Like dandelion.
There's always the argument every spring about should you control dandelion or not.
So it is, you know, the definition of a weed is a plant that's growing where it's not wanted.
And there's a very wide, a wide way to perceive that, I guess, when we think about an individual species.
- Yes, I think you have to, one of the key focused things you have to have is what do you really wanna grow?
And so that may be desirable for pasture, whatever, but also from the native plant interest.
And generally in the native plant you got both your grass and native forbs and there really isn't any herbicides you really use.
Well there is maybe some exceptions, but not very many.
But that is a real key process.
And I think we're really trying to help the land managers to come out with something that's really desirable, both from an economic standpoint that have some value and then whatever, whatever.
And that, and actually that become a very important part in working the city on their open space, they had to choose and make a decision what they wanted and it took away the issue of the anti-tools that they had, at least downplayed it quite a bit to be more focused on the natives.
- Okay, thank you.
It doesn't say where this is from, but what is a drought tolerant flowering shrub that they can plant in a garden?
That varies, I'm sure around the state.
- Yeah, that would vary around the state, but there are a lot of good options.
And it, you know, there are a few groups that have really nice lists out there.
So the city of Bozeman has a really nice list of kind of water wise landscaping plants and plants that are drought tolerant.
And the Montana Nursery and Landscape Association also has a really nice list.
But off the top of my head, a couple of my favorites that I like to include are chokecherry, silver buffaloberry, caragana.
So there are quite a few, though more, but if this is a topic that you're interested in and you are wanting to visit or in the area of Bozeman, we'll actually be having a gardening workshop here on June 10th.
Saturday, June 10th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Museum of the Rockies.
And so xeriscaping and water-wise landscaping is gonna be one of the topics in there and you're gonna get a lot of great information and tips about how to make your landscape more water-wise.
And then other topics will be vegetable gardening, pollinator conservation, and then tree issues and solutions.
- [Moderator] And anybody can go to that, just walk up?
- [Abi Saeed] Anyone can go to that.
- And you know while you're over there and we've been talking about doing a demonstration about pruning.
Look at the flowering crab apples in front of the Museum of the Rockies and see if you don't think that might be a good place to do a pruning demonstration.
That's a great suggestion.
- I did notice that the other day.
- That's a great suggestion.
- Could I just add that shrubby cinquefoil would be a really nice drought tolerant.
- It is.
- It's beautiful It's hardy.
- It's drought tolerant.
- Yeah, absolutely, yeah.
Jerry, a question from Bozeman.
And this is a good one, I like this.
Have you seen any changes in how people perceive noxious weeds over the decades?
Decades you've been in Missoula County.
Where they have been a lot of weeds for a long time and there have been.
So what's your perception of that?
- Yes, there has been quite a change.
I'm gonna say particular as we involved the urban area, we did a lot through the media, newspaper, whatever, but they kind of put it in a perspective of what they really want out there and what has really noxious and one of things that's really happened is we've had a big impact on spotted knapweed and so it's not near the problem it was.
While there's still concerns, gets raised from now and now, it really has changed tremendously.
I used to get hundreds of calls, it's much more quiet now.
- Okay, thank you.
Interesting questionnaire from Butte.
And Abi, I'm gonna throw this one to you.
Pollinators, do they help spread noxious weeds?
- I mean in the sense that they will pollinate them and allow them to set seed.
Yeah, in that sense they could.
- [Mary Burrows] But they're also good for the honey industry, right?
- That's also true.
- Yeah, a lot of, you know.
- (indistinct) - are non-native pollinators like honeybees do like those non-native plants too.
So I would say so, do you have anything to add?
- Well the, I feel like the scientific literature is kind of a mixed bag when it comes to noxious weeds and benefiting from (indistinct) pollinators or maybe detracting pollinators from native species.
It's kind of a mixed - [Moderator] Okay.
- Mixed bag and we're not quite sure.
Some of the work we did here at MSU with spotted knapweed and some of the native forbs suggested that knapweed was not competing with our native forbs for pollinators.
And in some regards it added to the floral resources for a pollinator because it flowers later in the summer when a lot of our native wildflowers - Yeah, it's similar with those early season kind of lawn weeds too, 'cause they'll extend that season for those early season pollinators and so yeah, they could be a nice buffer for food sources.
- Right, right.
- Okay, thank you.
Mary, question from Fort Benton, one of my favorite cities.
- [Mary Burrows] Absolutely.
- I love Fort Benton.
If you haven't visited Fort Benton, you need to go see it because it's a great little community with lots of history, (indistinct).
- [Mary Burrows] Yeah.
- Potential, we had a lot of snow cover this year, which they assume is favorable for (indistinct).
- It's pretty low actually.
Washington just released their annual report and they have low risk in eastern Washington.
I have not seen any fall infection and that's really when we get a problem is when we have fall infection and very susceptible varieties and (indistinct) moisture would be favorable, but I haven't gotten any reports yet.
- And we probably oughta add the (indistinct) can be a serious problem on.
- (indistinct) so.
- Spring wheat and winter wheat.
Primarily winter wheat though, I believe.
- Yep, yeah.
But we can, most of our varieties have some resistance or at least most of the widely (indistinct) planted ones.
This question has come in a couple times from Husom, H-U-S-O-M and they wanna know how to control cheatgrass in pasture and I know that's the first question we've ever had from Husom.
- Yeah, that's up along I-90, right?
- in I think Mineral County?
- Oh, yes.
- Is it (indistinct)?
- I think Mineral can claim it, but it's really Missoula.
- It's Missoula County.
So does that mean Jerry gets to take?
- Someone got weeds there, right?
- Jerry can take this question?
Yeah, cheatgrass in a pasture.
Yeah, it kind of depends on the setting.
If it's pervasive throughout the pasture or if it's just in patchy sections.
There's a variety of tools you can use.
I don't know if there's grazing happening there either, but you can, if it's just patches of cheatgrass, you can actually go around and like propane torch it to keep it from, to burn it down and keep it from producing seeds.
Very soon here would probably be when you would wanna do that before the seeds, they're kind of forming on the plant but not mature yet.
You could use targeted grazing if it's a setting where there's grazers.
There's also the flip side of that, making sure you are properly grazing the pasture.
So as not to overstress the perennial plants.
You could cut it, you know, mow it just kind of like, similar to propane torching or you could use herbicides.
And actually the best time, if you are using herbicides on cheatgrass, the best time to treat it is in the fall when those little seedlings are coming up.
So a little late to, so if you were thinking about a herbicide application, it would need to be in the fall.
In the meantime if you could do some propane torching, mowing or you know, using a weed whacker or weed whipper to go out there and keep it from producing seed this season.
- [Moderator] Okay.
- What I could add is that, I think what is key is managing the pasture, so that you're not over grazing.
When you've got some open sites, that's when you're gonna get more of these annual.
and we are getting more annual invasive species.
Ventenata is another one that we're seeing much more of.
- Yeah, speaking of that, what do you have there in front of you, Jane?
- Oh yeah, well I brought this, this is an annual to a short-lived perennial.
I picked this from my lawn.
- You didn't spray your yard, did you?
- This afternoon.
No, I didn't.
This is prostrate not weed.
It is, like I said, it's an annual to short-lived perennial.
And it's one of the first broad leafs things showing up in my lawn right now.
It grows kind of upright, but as it matures it's going to take more of a prostrate or matte like form as the summer goes on.
and you wanna look for kind of these oblong leaves.
They're long and oblong and there's a little membranous sheath down at the base of those.
They pull out of the ground super easy right now, you can see that there's just this pretty simple shallow root, but like in my lawn it's, you know, there might be tens to hundreds of these in a little spot about two square feet.
And it's tending to grow like along the sidewalk in my backyard or places where there's some bare ground.
So I've been trying to kind of control it and then do, I probably do a little 2-4'D application.
- It works very well.
- And then probably maybe do some interceding over the top and try to encourage the grass to do better there.
- And in those like along the sidewalk kind of sections too, they're probably more compacted, so.
- Yes, for sure.
- Some aeration could help with that as well.
- Yep, yeah.
- Thank you.
Here's an open question for everybody and it is a problem.
It's from Bozeman.
What can be done about the epidemic, and there is an epidemic, of weeds around roadways, railroad lines, et cetera, et cetera.
How do we handle that?
(panel laughs) I just answered a question, now it's your turn, Jerry?
- Well, I'm gonna say, first of all, I think it's very key that whoever is responsible for that right of way.
- [Moderator] Exactly.
- Whether it is city, county, or federal, they need to have a vegetation program.
So that it's covered if possible.
The railroad does have clearance on their right of way up to a point.
But it's the same thing there.
The areas where they can grow vegetation, they need to have a vegetation program, which includes a weed control program.
- And I would add just the importance of education.
I mean, all of us on the panel and probably most of our viewers are very interested in plants and what happens with plants, but it's amazing sometimes the questions you get about a plant that seem very simple - [Jerry Marks] Yep.
- Or basic to you, but you know, the general public is not aware that something might even be troublesome or not troublesome.
- [Jerry Marks] Yep.
- Here again, on my high horse an amount of Canada thistle along ditches here in Gallatin County is pretty impressive.
And in August, you know, if you're allergic to the pollen or the seeds, it spreads rather nicely.
And if you were to control those before they went to seed, we'd be in a lot better shape.
And I think landowners should take some responsibility and the county too, so.
- And I think, you know, it's easy to see a weed when it's flowering.
- Or when those seeds are blowing all over and that's the worst time to try to control it.
So learning how to identify this vegetation before it flowers is really key to controlling it effectively.
- [Jerry Marks] Yeah.
- Okay, thank you.
Moving along from Missoula, your home territory, but this isn't for you, that's for Abi.
They've seen articles about honeyberry, but never heard of it before.
Would the panelists talk about how to grow it in Missoula and where they can find honeyberry?
- [Abi Saeed] Yeah.
- I don't know what that is.
- So honeyberry is haskaps, they're very popular, cold hearty plant here in Montana.
They produce this elongated blue berry that has a flavor, kind of similar to a blueberry in my opinion.
Very, very tasty, very hardy plant for Montana.
In terms of growing it does very well in most of our landscapes here.
So just make sure that your soil has, you know, plenty of organic matter.
It can tolerate those higher pH soils too that a lot of our, you know, other plants struggle with.
And so it's a pretty nice plant to grow.
We have some great resources for more information on haskaps or honeyberries at the Western Ag Research Center website or at MSU extension store, has a publication on our berries as well.
But in terms of where to get it, I'd always recommend looking at local nurseries and garden centers to see if they have locally hardy stock available.
I have seen these available online, but I'd often recommend getting it from local sources.
- [Mary Burrows] And do you need two different varieties for customer?
- Yeah, you do, they need to be cross pollinating.
- Yeah, and and what I've heard, I go to the Coral Wallace Field Day, which is a great opportunity to learn about them.
And you get to eat them too.
- [Abi Saeed] Oh yeah.
- [Jerry Marks] That's it.
- But like the berries are like inside so it can be hard to pick, but they're very tasty.
- Yeah, they are very tasty.
- Is anybody growing those here in Bozeman that you're aware of?
The Hort Farm has a set of them too, but there are a few growers around the area as well.
- Okay, I have not tried 'em, I have been told they are tasty, so.
- Yeah, it's a native species, right?
It's native to like southern Canada and, right?
- Yeah, yeah.
So it does well in those kind of cold prairie climates.
Saskatchewan's been one of the leading kind of forces in producing this plant and there are a lot of cultivars that have kind of different characteristics too so, yeah.
- It seems like fun.
- And if somebody wants to learn more about it, they have organized a small fruits organization that meets occasionally and so, and that's haskaps is a big thing for those farms.
- The Berry Growers Association.
- And wine grapes.
- [Jane Mangold] Yeah.
- [Moderator] Yep.
Okay, here's one.
And I'm gonna throw, this is from Hamilton.
It's not your county, it's River Valley, but you're close.
And they want Jerry to talk about the leafy spurge that once was all across the hills around Missoula.
How'd you get rid of it?
I wish I could say we got rid of it.
- [Moderator] You've managed it.
- Well, it's less than it was.
But we looked at a number of programs, different herbicides, biological controls, grazing and where land managers actually have a very active program they can make a big difference.
But we have also pushed to have additional research on leafy spurge and the agriculture research station in Sydney, Montana has taken it on.
And Natalie West is a lead researcher for that.
So we're hoping to have better answers down the road.
- Was leafy spurge what we used to train goats to eat many years ago?
- Well, when we started the grazing program, goats and sheep was the big things that we looked at.
- [Moderator] And.
- Cattle will eat it to a certain degree, horses won't.
- So, but I was told that once goats taste it, they become "addicted to it" or they prefer it maybe is a better term, is that correct?
- I don't know if I can answer that a full blaze.
Generally goats is a browse animal.
- [Moderator] Yeah.
So they're going hit the shrubs, forbs first or the shrubs first, and then they will take on the forbs and then they're a diverse animal and they'll eat a lot, even including grass.
You know, I suppose there is some things that as their body adjusts the bacteria and their rumen adjust, they may prefer leafy spurge, but.
- [Moderator] Okay.
All right, Yellowstone County, Billings, new house, in the flowered they have Creeping Bellflower and this was ID'd by a somebody, the extension agent probably, in Yellowstone County.
They did not get a recommendation for Jane, how do you get rid of it?
- Yeah, so Creeping Bellflowers is kind of like Canada thistle, you want to hit it with everything you can in terms of hand pulling whenever you can, you know, persistently and consistently.
You can use herbicides, like you can wipe glyphosate on it, You could hit it with 2-4'D.
You could try to crowd it out with other vegetation that will, you might like a little better, you know, with some competitive vegetation.
But if it's well established too, like if the flower beds have just been neglected for a number of years and that's kind of been the dominant species there, sometimes it's worth just starting over.
I don't know, Abi, if you have any thoughts on this one.
- Yeah, I would also add like, in flower beds, mulch is a really nice.
- Oh yeah.
- Tool to kind of prevent that germination and be a nice barrier.
So usually organic material mulches, like arborist wood chips are some of the best, 'cause they'll add nutrients slowly to the soil as well.
So I'd say like a three to four inch layer around your kind of flowers would be a good tool.
So use every tool you have.
- So I say we'll have often take comments and this is a comment, not a question from Billings.
And they disagree with spraying for broadleafs and lawns because of drifted gardens.
And that can happen, we know that.
But if you don't spray on a windy day, low humidity, relatively mild temperature so it doesn't vaporize, you can do it successfully, but you have to be cautious.
Or if you don't want to do it and have a serious weed problem, there are commercial people available that would do a good job.
Well I had you up a minute ago, I loved throwing this one at you.
(Jerry Marks chuckles) Bindweed, from Helena, they have bindweed in their plant beds and they're riddled with them and they would like to know how to deal with it.
That's a kind of a curve.
- Well, are you looking at me or Jerry?
I thought that maybe Jerry could handle this some, but I would, everything I just said about Creeping Bellflower also applies to field bindweed.
- Yeah, it's just as tenacious as Creeping Bellflower or Canada thistle.
You have to be persistent.
You should, you know, try mechanical control, cultural control, chemical control, if the setting allows for that.
- I have a question about that.
So you mentioned biocontrol.
Are there biocontrol options for field bindweed here?
- There, oh, you go ahead Jerry.
- I was gonna say not very much.
- Jeff Littlefield here has been looking on mites for that, which are not totally effective.
And I think there's some other insects that's being looked at.
But nothing is readily available that's effective.
- [Jane Mangold] Okay.
- Mary, a curve for you from Hardin concerning mushrooms.
They say there are many mushrooms that are grown in the Hardin area, I would agree.
Could the panel, that be you Mary, talk about what mushrooms are edible and which ones are poisonous?
- Everything's poisonous if it's improperly stored or misidentified.
We do have a mycology expert, Cathy Cripps, that helps us in the diagnostic lab if you have any questions about those.
- You still get the mushrooms sent in, if they're sent in properly.
- [Mary Burrows] Right, right.
- How do they send them?
- You wanna wrap 'em in like a newspaper and get 'em to us?
Don't send 'em on a Friday, so they sit in the, yeah.
- So in that area there are Morels.
- [Mary Burrows] Yep.
- And a lot of Agaricus or buttoned mushrooms, I do know that.
There are not many Amanita, which are quite poisonous, but always want to be safe and identify 'em before you.
- Yeah, because there are False Morels as well.
So you wanna be really.
- That's right, Helvella, yeah, so.
- And the mushrooms poisoning a lot is associated with improper storage or not cooking it correctly, so.
- Yeah, and we've had that issue here in Bozeman recently.
- Hamilton, Hoary alyssum is spread across the area.
They need steps for control.
And is there anything new that they can use for control?
- Wow, we're hitting all the tough weeds tonight, aren't we?
- Yes, yes.
- Get an easier question.
- I think the, what I would direct the viewer to do is we have a really nice extension publication on Hoary alyssum.
It can be found at the MSU extension store.
And I would, that publication covers, you know, mechanical control, cultural control, chemical control, that we don't have any biocontrol for hoary alyssum.
So that's not an option.
You can hand pull it.
Now is a good time to be doing that.
It's pretty small still, the soil is nice and moist.
You could mow it to at least prevent seed production and you could use a product that would contain 2-4'D, if it's in a range or pasture setting.
Metsulfuron products work very well on it.
Thanks for the comments tonight, folks, I like this.
It's from Billings and it's regarding leafy spurge and herbivores that eat them.
There was a recent article in science magazine that said that leafy spurge helps herbivores, sheep and goats particularly, control parasites in their stomach.
Would anybody like to comment on that?
- That's news to me.
- Yeah, I was gonna say I have not seen anything on that.
- It's probably new information as well, if it's published in science.
- [Moderator] Okay, thank you.
- That's cool.
- I'm gonna ask one more question then I want the people back in the control room to bring out something special this evening.
And that question would be, before we get to our special part of the program, from Reed Point, how effective are ladybugs against the alfalfa weevil?
I don't know, and I'm not sure anybody does here, but they would like to know where they can buy lady bugs.
You guys can probably answer that part of the question.
- Yeah, so in terms of buying bio controls like ladybugs, it's usually doesn't work very well in an open environment where firstly, usually the types of lady beetles you're getting are the non-native ones if you're buying them.
But in terms of kind of releasing them in the landscape, they'll usually kind of fly away to wherever they want to go.
So it's not the best source of biocontrol.
There are places that will sell them, but what I recommend for kind of having these natural enemies like ladybugs in the landscape is to create a nice habitat in your landscape that ends up kind of promoting those carnivorous beetles and stuff to come in those parasitoids and predators.
- [Jerry Marks] (indistinct) So that's what I would recommend.
- [Jane Mangold] Do they actually use those on alfalfa weevil?
- I don't think so.
- [Jane Mangold] (indistinct) - I don't know of lady beetles and if they are effective against alfalfa weevil.
- They're usually target more soft bodied insects, so.
- All right folks.
This is kind of a special occasion tonight.
It's somebody's birthday.
(Jerry Marks chuckles) And you might guess who that is.
And I'm not supposed to ask politicly incorrect questions, but Jerry, happy 82nd birthday.
- [Jerry Marks] Oh, thank you.
- And you might put these over in front of him.
- Oh, look at this.
Oh man, happy birthday, huh?
And you know, Jerry, we were going to light up all these candles on there.
- Oh geez, start a, you have to call the fire department.
- Well, yeah, we were ready, but I read that my fire extinguisher expired 2020.
- Aha, aha.
- So we're going without that.
- Thank goodness, yeah.
- But Jerry, all of us, especially those people in Missoula County really do wanna wish you a very happy birthday and you can delve into it.
And hey, wants all those things on the side there?
- Yeah, I see.
- [Moderator] Jane, you might.
- I see they got some weeds on here.
(panel laughs) - If we, Jerry.
- A rose though, there's a rose.
- There's thorns among the roses.
- (indistinct) kick up a little on there.
- Yeah, yes.
Can you get this picture good enough?
- [Moderator] Those, what are those weeds on there, Jane?
- Well it looks like some knapweed and leafy spurge, don't you think, Jerry?
- Yeah, that's what I say.
- Weeds among the roses.
- Yes, yeah.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Jerry, you've had 53 years of service and very happy birthday to you and thank you for coming over, but we're not letting you outta here yet without answering another question or two.
From Bozeman, they have spotted knapweed in a rural area.
Recommendations between you and Jane?
- Well, as I've already probably, hopefully covered it, but I think organizing the landowners to deal with it.
It's not a long lived plant, it's susceptible to a lot of herbicides.
We've got some very effective biocontrols and so it can be managed.
It has a seed bank.
And generally what I've seen the research show where we've used like biocontrols, that took 13 years.
We have another site we looked at grazing and the biocontrols and that was 13 years.
Herbicides, you can get a control for one or two or three years, but then you've got a seed bank there where a plant can come back.
So it's again, landowners become an organized, looking at it long term and being focused on what they really want on the land.
- And I would add that we also have a very nice extension publication that outlines all the many ways to control spotted knapweed.
Like Jerry was saying, there's very effective tools for spotted knapweed from hand pulling.
- To biocontrol, to herbicides, to mowing.
You can mow it, if the time, you can be strategic with the timing.
The trick is managing that seed bank.
- So you can kill the plants that are growing there this year, but they'll be seeds generating new plants for quite some time, so.
- Yes, yes.
- Okay, this one I'm gonna read, it's another comment from Livingston.
And it says they would like to thank the Ag Live panel for all the info in helping them running a ranch in the Livingston area.
It's a fourth generation ranch.
This person says they were originally from Oregon and they've watched Ag Live for 20 years.
So there are a lot of bored people out there that watch this program.
Missoula, Abi, they have a honeyberry and it grows and grows and grows.
She just waters it, it is huge.
Do you think they need to fertilize it?
- So if you have enough soil or organic matter, so getting a soil test would be always a good idea before going on a fertilizer program.
But making sure that your soil nutrients are up to snuff.
You might get away with not fertilizing, but eventually those nutrients will get depleted.
So you may have to keep track of it, but getting a soil test would be a really good strategy.
We're not gonna address this one tonight.
I'm gonna leave just a few seconds for Jerry to make some comments.
But from Butte, next week, and this is a good question, they would like to conserve water and I know Bozeman would be, fall on the same.
And we need to address that in our future.
So if you watch next week, in the following week, we will address what to use to conserve water.
- [Mary Burrows] And the gardening workshop.
- And the gardening workshop, June 10th.
- [Mary Burrows] June 10th.
Jerry, we got a few seconds left.
Sage advice, I'm asking you.
- Sage advice.
Well, I'm not quite sure how to respond to that.
I'm gonna say from my perspective in Missoula.
While it's the university town and they often like to debate things.
It is also a community that's willing to try new things.
And we've had a lot of success in putting programs together.
I think, well I really have a strong feeling of building programs from the people up.
And have them involved.
In the long run that will work out a lot of times, it takes quite a bit of time and a lot of discussion, but that has been very effective.
- [Moderator] You lead by leadership and you've done a great job with that.
- Thank you.
(upbeat music plays) - And we appreciate that.
First, I want to thank the panel for this evening, we're running a little low on time.
Mary, it's always good to have you.
Jerry, Missoula County, the state wants to thank you for your service.
You've done a great job.
Jane, as always, you got demoted from special guest tonight, but that's all right.
Abi, good to have you here.
Next week we have Shannon Arnold on and this is gonna be an interesting Tune in, you'll find out what you can sell in this state.
Have a good week, good night.
- [Narrator] For more information and resources, visit montanapbs.org/aglive (upbeat music continues) - [Narrator] Montana AG Live is made possible by (upbeat music plays) the Montana Department of Agriculture, MSU Extension, the MSU Ag Experiment Stations of the College of Agriculture, the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, Cashman Nursery & Landscaping, the Northern Pulse Growers Association, and the Gallatin Gardeners Club.
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