STATE TO DISTRIBUTE MORE THAN $1 MILLION FOR WEED CONTROL

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) will distribute more than $1 million dollars among 49 counties and one city for noxious weed control during the 2011-13 biennium.

“These funds were appropriated by the 2011 Legislature,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “The department, working with the North Dakota Weed Control Association (NDWCA), has developed two programs – the Landowner Assistance Program (LAP) and the Targeted Assistance Grants (TAG) – to provide a fair and effective means of getting this money to local weed control boards.”

Goehring said LAP provides local weed boards with cost-share assistance for landowner control of noxious and invasive weeds. Weed boards must levy at least 3 mills or budget the equivalent of 3 mills for noxious weed control to be eligible for the program. Participating landowners must contribute 20 percent of costs expended on their behalf. This match may include in-kind expenditures, such as work hours, equipment use and mileage.

“It is up to local weed boards to decide if in-kind match is allowed in their jurisdiction,” Goehring said. “I hope the weed boards will allow in-kind match, because it will encourage more producers to participate in weed control efforts.”

The LAP allocation for eligible weed boards is based on a formula agreed upon by NDDA and NDWCA, an umbrella group of the state's county and city weed boards.

Goehring said the department will allocate half the total amount the first year and may re-evaluate the formula and allocations for the second year of the biennium.

The average allocation for each county is about $20,600. Dunn County will receive the largest allocation, $39,257. Four counties – Grant, McKenzie, Morton and Stark – will each receive more than $30,000. Five counties – Cass, Divide, Pembina, Traill and Ward – are not eligible for the LAP program. Wahpeton is the only city to qualify for LAP funds, and will receive $8,163.

NDDA also has $226,000 available for the Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG) Program, which provides cost-share funds to weed boards for weed control or purchase of materials, machinery, equipment, computer hardware or software used in weed control, education and outreach. Each county weed board is eligible to receive a $4,000 TAG allocation and each city weed board is eligible to receive a $2,000 TAG allocation for the biennium. The percentage for TAG reimbursement for a weed board's actual expenditures is 75 percent.