The Natural Resources Water Quality Fund (NRWQF) was created in 2001 to provide state funds to Natural Resources Districts for their Water Quality Programs. The Fund receives monies from the receipt of portions of certain fees levied by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for pesticide registration and applicator licenses. By statute, these funds can only be used by NRDs and only for water quality programs. Use of the fund for a wide variety of water quality related measures, both for surface water and ground water, is permitted. NRDs are required to provide three dollars match for each two dollars of state funds received. The Department of Natural Resources rules and regulations govern administration of the NRWQF.
Leafy spurge is a creeping, herbaceous perennial weed of foreign origin that reproduces from seed and vegetative root buds. It can reduce rangeland cattle carrying capacity by 50 to 75 percent. About half of this loss is from decreased grass production. Cattle won't graze in dense leafy spurge stands and these areas are a 100 percent loss to producers.
Leafy spurge is difficult to manage and can recover from almost any control effort. Therefore, a management scheme that combines control methods over four to five years is recommended. Even after that time, monitor infestations for recurrence and adopt a maintenance program.
The ULNRD will provide cost share funds for fall and spring treatment of Leafy Spurge to landowners in the district. Funds are available to cover 45% of the cost of approved chemicals up to $400 per landowner. The cost of labor will not be cost shared. The appropriate chemical herbicide can be applied by a landowner with private pesticide certification or by a certified commercial applicator. The use of herbicides for leafy spurge control is just one part of long term management that should include good grazing strategies and can include grazing by sheep or goats or biological control by the release of insects. It’s important to continue yearly management as skipping a year can allow leafy spurge to re-infest rapidly. Extension educators and county weed supervisors are very good resources for weed management. Applications can be obtained by phone request, stopping at the Thedford office or online through the following link: