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09/23/05 A new ally in the war on weeds
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Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: September 23, 2005

In the thick underbrush along the Boise River near Eagle, Ada County weed control agents found what they were looking for, a new ally.

DALLOLIO Thats alerinus minutis.
ADAMS Just in this little patch I have five or six.

Brain Dallolio and Joe Adams have found weevils on patches of spotted knapweed. They knew the weeds were there, they didnt know this biological agent was there until a couple of weeks ago. The weevils originated in Greece but were brought to Montana a couple of years ago to attack spotted knapweed. Adams says they sure do that.

ADAMS After examining the area in many of these plants we observed up to 75 to 80 percent of the seed heads were attacked by these weevils. So that is very promising. That should make a noted decrease in seed production along with the herbicide treatments that we are doing in here, we should gain control.

No one is quite sure how the weevils got from Montana to Boise but theyre captured along the river and introduced to other weed infested areas. Bugs or biological control agents as theyre known are one of the methods used in Idaho to combat what officials estimate is a 300 million dollar damage problem. There are some chemicals that attack plants like rush skeleton weed but at 65 dollars per acre the cost is high.

Voice of Idaho Agriculture
Bill Scott

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