Minn. ramps up efforts in noxious weed fight - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minn. ramps up efforts in noxious weed fight

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Noxious weeds are proving an expensive and cumbersome adversary for Minnesota agricultural officials, who are ramping up eradication efforts of invasive plants that pose environmental or health worries.

In Duluth, Japanese knotweed has become a nuisance and prompted worry that it will crowd out food sources for waterfowl. In southern Minnesota, a woody vine called oriental bittersweet is spreading fast along the Mississippi River.

Minnesota Public Radio News reported Wednesday that a recent $350,000 state grant from the state's Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund will help target weeds on an "eradicate list." They include oriental bittersweet, Dalmation toadflax, Cutleaf teasel, Japanese hops and Grecian foxglove.

It's a shift in focus because officials say that until now most funding has been geared toward enforcement and education.

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