Working together to strengthen and support noxious weed management efforts in Montana.

Tansy Ragwort

MSU Report for the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Advisory Council

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013


This report for the Montana Noxious Weed Management Advisory Council was assembled in compliance with the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Act and Administrative Rules which require an annual report from the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and Montana State University Extension Service on current projects and future plans. This report is a compilation of major weed science research and education activities conducted by MSU over the past three years and includes highlights of funded Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund grants as well as comprehensive reporting of all weed science research products and education funding and activities.

Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund Projects 2010–2012

  • Biological Control of Common Tansy and Oxeye Daisy, Jeff Littlefield
  • Biological Control of Invasive Hawkweed and Tansy Ragwort, Jeff Littlefield
  • Biological Control of Russian Knapweed, Jeff Littlefield
  • Biological Control of Whitetop and Perennial Pepperweed,Jeff Littlefield
  • Can Biological Control and Targeted Sheep Grazing be Integrated to Suppress Spotted Knapweed?, Jeff Mosley
  • Cheatgrass Ecology and Integrated Management, Jane Mangold
  • Continental Divide Invasive Weed Barrier Zone, Kim Goodwin
  • Establishing and Monitoring Insectaries for Yellow Toadflax Biocontrol, David Weaver
  • Herbicide Resistance Extension Information for Montana Producers, William Dyer
  • Identifying and Testing Candidate Agents for Russian Olive Biocontrol, David Weaver
  • Implementing EDRR in Montana Using the INVADERS Database, Jane Mangold
  • Integration of Pathogens, Sheep, and Herbicides to Manage Cheatgrass, Fabian Menalled
  • Missouri River Watershed Coalition Coordination, Elizabeth Galli-Noble
  • Rangeland Revegetation Revisited, Jane Mangold        Saltcedar Effects on Mycorrhizal Fungal Communities and Screening of Native Species for Restoration, Erik Lehnhoff
  • Tall Buttercup Ecology and Integrated Management, Jane Mangold
  • Weed Free Borders Protection Program, Kim Goodwin
  • Weed Management Certification Program, Jane Mangold
  • Weed Seedling Identification Guide, Jane Mangold

Download a copy of the complete report 2013 MSU Annual Report to the MNWTF

Tansy Ragwort on the Rise in Oregon

Monday, August 15th, 2011


The following is an excerpt from Eric Coombs at the  Oregon Department of Agriculture.

What is going on?

There is a growing concern in western Oregon, and that concern is Tansy Ragwort. It seems to be rearing its ugly head (maybe pretty to some) in numerous areas in western Oregon. People want to know what to do about it. Why have the biocontrol agents like the cinnabar moth and flea beetle failed to control it? Will we have economic losses to our livestock again, as occurred in the 1960-70s?

Oregon enjoyed a long-term success in the mid-1980s through 2005 of not having a lot of tansy ragwort around, to the tune of 5 million dollars a year in economic benefits to Oregon agriculture. Tansy ragwort is a biennial plant in the sunflower family that was unintentionally introduced into Oregon in the early 1920s, and within 30 years, became a regional problem, killing thousands of livestock animals – mostly cattle and horses, and contaminating pastures and hay. By the 1970s, many pastures, hillsides, and log clearings were invaded and heavily infested by tansy ragwort. Tansy is mostly a weed that gets a foothold in plant communities that have been disturbed, either by grazing, logging, construction, fire etc. Unless you have livestock, tansy is more of a symptom of a problem than a problem. The Oregon legislature commission the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to implement a biological control program to control tansy ragwort. Three insects, the cinnabar moth, a flea beetle, and a seed head fly were introduced from 1960-1971. These insects are natural enemies of tansy ragwort that were tested for host specificity and imported from tansy’s homeland in Western Europe. Once they were established in Oregon, ODA began an intensive redistribution program, collecting and releasing millions of the biocontrol agents at infested sites throughout the state. By the mid-1980s, tansy infestations were in sharp decline and cattle deaths were reduced by more than 90%.

Download and read the complete article telling what cause this resurgence and what options are available.