GREAT FALLS - There are weeds just about everywhere you look outside in Montana.
This week, the state is using Noxious Weed Awareness Week to help inform Montanans about weeds in the state and what to do about them. This is the second year Gov. Greg Gianforte has declared the first full week of June as Noxious Weed Awareness Week.
The Montana Department of Agriculture says the week helps people learn more about weeds that they might not have known before. Noxious Weed Coordinator Jasmine Chaffee added that last year’s dry weather helped manage the weeds but is expecting more to pop up this year.
“The biggest thing to take away is this is when the weeds are really growing, especially with all this moisture. Last year with it being so dry we saw not as many weeds plus we had a huge grasshopper outbreak which really knocked down a lot of the weeds too. We had plenty don't get me wrong, but not a banner year. This year with the moisture I think we're going to see quite a few more weeds where they weren't last year."
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) estimates there to be about eight to ten priority weeds to manage this summer. The weeds have been delayed several weeks, says Wildlife Area Manager Mark Schlepp, but he still urges people to check for weeds and manage them when spotted.
“Weeds, once they're established, they don't go away. Weeds are responding to that moisture in the wetted areas. There are multiple ways to manage weeds, probably the most effective is chemical treatment. There are insects that have been placed on different places, that are used in hard to get to places. We use grazing although it isn’t as effective sometimes. We use mechanical, or mowing treatment. I’d say spotted knapweed is the biggest threat we’re seeing now.”