Sully bio site tour is next week

In conjunction with 2022 Fall Weed and Pest Commission Tour today, September 15, a tour of a Hartford Township bio site will be conducted.

The bus tour includes stops at Laframboise Island in Pierre, Grey Goose area, and Ringneck Energy plant tour.

“After the Ringneck tour, we’ll have lunch at 258 Coffee,” said Sully County Weed and Pest Supervisor Paula Barber.

From their luncheon, the fall tour will continue to the tree belt located on Doug Marsh’s 17951 300th Avenue property. Two years ago, bio agents were released at the site.

“I really didn’t have a clue as to what to expect,” said Doug of releasing the bio agents. “I had read about them, and Paula told me about it and asked me if I had any thistles, so we decided to just try them.”

The bio agents released were Canada thistle gall flies, which Paula first implemented as part of Sully County’s weed and pest control program in 1998, and stem miner weevils.

“The site was totally impacted with Canada thistle when we put the bio agents out there two years ago,” said Paula.

“We had super results, more than we ever expected,” said Doug. “We didn’t think they would overwinter. They overwintered and propagated besides.”

“Today, there’s not a thistle out there!” said Paula.

Doug Marsh’s tree belt is the latest site where bio agents have been successfully employed to control noxious weeds in Sully County. Doug says that cost was one of the factors that lead to his decision to try the bio agents in weed control.

“I was tired of spraying,” said Doug. “The spray that you use for thistles is expensive.”

As a measure of the success experienced in his tree belt, Doug says, “I hope they can come up with bio agents for cockleburs and other noxious weeds.”