Noxious Weed Control


Paragraph 8 of the land lease states that “LESSEE shall control all noxious weeds on the land….”. To help defray the costs of control, it is a policy of the Department of Trust Lands to cost share your expenses incurred in spraying grasslands owned by the school trusts. Our office generally mails cost-share forms in May of each year. There are a few ways to help control noxious weeds that include chemical control, flea beetle, and grazing.


Chemical Control Cost Share Program

To help defray the costs of control, it is a policy of the State Land Department to cost share of the allowable expenses incurred in spraying grasslands owned by the school trusts. This is our "Long Form". If you are spraying small patches and are using less than a gallon of chemical during the year, maybe the "Short Form" or " Online Form" is for you. Either form can be used to request reimbursement for your costs of control on the school trust which you lease.


Long Form Method

Recommended for lessees with large infestations and significant control costs, this method requires:

  1. Itemization of your costs - including labor and chemical
  2. Include original receipts
    • Receipts will be returned
  3. A sign-off by the county weed control officer
  4. A timely reimbursement request

Forms not postmarked by the last working day in September each year will not be paid.

Short Form Method

These forms were well-received by lessees spraying small infestations, and recommended for lessees with limited expense:

  1. This form allows 100% cost share up to $150.00
  2. No receipts required
  3. No weed control office signature required
  4. Applies only to labeled mixes
  5. Only one short form per lessee per year

Forms not postmarked by the last working day in September each year will not be paid.


Please Note: If you have not received a cost share payment in the past (and because funds are limited), you must have the estimated costs approved by the Department of Trust Lands before spraying unless your estimated costs are $150.00 or less. If you do no follow recommended guidelines, your request for reimbursement will be denied.


Flea Beetle Program

Since 1993 Department of Trust Lands staff and lessees have released insects for leafy spurge control on numerous school trust lands. Some releases have become established and we are now conducting "harvest field days" on these. The release of leafy spurge flea beetles is one of the components of the IPM " Integrated Pest Management " philosophy. NDSU has been a leader along with the ND Dept of Agriculture and APHIS-PPQ, in bringing this innovation to North Dakota farmers, ranchers and land managers. Check out their information at " Leafy Spurge Control using Flea Beetles"

Research is being done to correlate the emergence of the adult flea beetles and certain stages of common North Dakota native plant species and agricultural crops. It has been recommended to begin scouting for adult Aphthona nigriscutis when the average growing degree days (AGDD) Average Growing Degree Days for sunflower reaches 1000. Flea Beetle density prior to 1200 AGDD is low, which makes it difficult to effectively monitor the true establishment. Density of egg-laying females starts to decline at 1600 AGDD.

Target AGDD for the flea beetle harvest is:

  • A. Lacertosa 1200 - 1600 AGDD
  • A. Nigriscutis 1200 - 1600 AGDD

Researchers have observed adult Aphthona emergence to begin concurrently with bloom initiation of Prairie Roses, Yarrow & ripening of your garden strawberries and peak bloom of Yarrow (white) in late June.

If you have questions about the noxious weeds, flea beetles, or the cost share program; please contact the Department of Trust Lands.


Noxious & Watch Weeds and Other Resources

The Department of Trust Lands is required to control noxious weeds and we also request that Lessees watch out for other weeds, termed here as “watch weeds”, that may be a nuisance to the land. Examples of Noxious Weeds and Watch Weeds are listed below:


Noxious Weeds

A weed which is considered to be harmful to the environment or animals, especially one which may be the subject of regulations governing attempts to control it.

  • Leafy Spurge
  • Absinth Wormwood
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Yellow Toadflax
  • Dalmatian Toadflax
  • Canada Thistle
  • Diffuse Knapweed
  • Musk Thistle
  • Spotted Knapweed
  • Russian Knapweed
  • Saltcedar
  • Houndstongue
  • Palmer Amaranth

Watch Weeds

A weed that may be or may become a nuisance to the land.

  • Yellow Starthistle
  • Black Henbane
  • Hoary Cress
  • Houndstongue
  • Common Tansy


Q: Why do I need the Weed Control Officer's signature on my request for Cost-share?

We do this as a courtesy to keep the weed control officer informed of what is happening in their county and it also provides contact between our lessees and the weed officer, who is knowledgeable concerning the latest information on control and identification of noxious weeds.

Q: Can I apply for cost-share assistance more than once during the year?

Labor rates are as varied as the people who are doing the work. We suggest you consider the man-hours spent in actual spraying and the efficiency of your equipment and your methods. If there is a question about the labor amount being excessive, we will contact you before the payment is approved.

Q: Can I apply for cost-share assistance more than once during the year?

Yes, you can with the long form. If you are spraying in June and again with follow-up in September, we would encourage you to submit the form soon after each spraying. That way you can still find the receipt and the spraying time is still fresh in your mind. If you want to wait and submit one form at the end of the year, do so, but be sure you have it mailed before the deadline. Late requests will not be paid.

Q: I only sprayed a little patch and I bought the chemical 2 years ago. How can I apply for cost-share when I don't know where the receipt is?

Tell us when you sprayed this year, what amount of herbicide you used and the hours spent spraying. We can cost-share up to $150.00 with this form. No receipt and no signature by the weed officer is needed.

Q: I went to a field day and brought home a couple bags of flea beetles. Should I still spray?

Yes, chemical control is still necessary to maintain the front-line of defense. In the first year of release, stay back about 200 feet from the release site. But continue your spraying efforts on leafy spurge. As the insectary grows, you can widen the ring of no-spraying. The flea beetles can be an effective new tool in the leafy spurge war, but they are not the "cure-all" that some want to believe they are.