Spring marks the start of the growing season for noxious weeds that compete with pasture and crops, reducing yields considerably.

Some noxious weeds can be poisonous or injurious to humans, livestock and wildlife. By law, it is the duty of each person who owns or controls land to effectively control noxious weeds on that land.

"We declare a weed noxious so that various regulatory procedures may be implemented to control the weed and prevent its spread," said Merlyn Carlson, Nebraska director of agriculture. "Noxious weed inspectors for the Department of Agriculture work with county weed superintendents to prevent serious economic loss."

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture encourages the public to report noxious weed infestations to their county weed control authority. The county weed superintendent will identify each noxious weed and may assist in control measures. If infestations go uncontrolled, legal action is set in motion by the county weed control authority.

Six weeds are designated noxious in Nebraska: musk thistle, Canada thistle, plumeless thistle, spotted knapweed, diffuse knapweed and leafy spurge.

For more information on Nebraska's noxious weed program, contact the county weed superintendent or Mitch Coffin, Nebraska Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant Industry, at 402-471-2394.

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