Date of this Version



© 2002, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Leafy spurge is an invasive weed that infests over three million acres in the northern Great Plains and the prairie provinces of Canada. It is commonly found in rangelands, pastures, roadsides, rights-of-way, and woodlands. Leafy spurge can reduce rangeland and pasture carrying capacity by as much as 75 percent because it competes with forages and cattle avoid grazing areas infested with this weed. In North Dakota where leafy spurge infests about 900,000 acres, estimates of direct and indirect losses exceed $100 million each year. In Nebraska, the direct loss in forage value attributed to leafy spurge has been estimated at more than $2 million annually. Estimates of direct and indirect losses in Nebraska exceed $16 million per year.