Gallatin County invasive weed tours, crop school and small acreage management
A new annual invasive grass took center stage in 2018 in Gallatin County. MSU Extension agriculture agent Josh Bilbao worked diligently with the Gallatin County Weed District, MSU researcher Jane Mangold, and the Gallatin Valley Land Trust to host two tours to highlight a grass named Ventenata dubia. Tours were attended by more than 100 individuals. The tours informed attendees how to identify this new grass and what strategies can help mitigate its invasion. The second tour for Gallatin County livestock producers, led to five individuals finding the annual grass on their property and a small group was encouraged to apply for a Noxious Weed Trust Fund Grant to help with control in 2019.The annual Crop School continued to gain popularity with more than 90 attendees in 2018. This collaboration between Broadwater, Gallatin and Madison/Jefferson provides ag producers with information on current and relevant topics in agriculture. Small acreage management is a continued need in Gallatin County. Bilbao hosts a small acreage management lecture series and made site visits to more than 40 landowners who requested land management assistance. Site visits often included identifying noxious weeds, advising on best vegetation/species for the landowners needs, and helping develop a site management plan to strategically reach property improvement goals.
Image credit:Noxious weed seed-free forage site inspection. Photo by Josh Bilbao/MSU Extension