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Joe Fritz and nephew Drew Kuntz look on as Joe's wife, Shannon, trains Border collies to help manage 240 sheep the Fritzes run on their North Dakota ranch to control an invasive flowering plant called leafy spurge. The Eurasian weed contains latex, which burns cows' <br />
mouths; enough spurge on pastureland will drive cattle away entirely. Luckily sheep enjoy eating spurge--in fact, they prefer it to grass, says Shannon Fritz. <br />
Leafy spurge can be catastrophic to grasslands for both economic and ecological reasons. It is estimated that the plant reduces the productivity of grazing land by 50 to 75 percent. It currently inhabits about three million acres of rangeland in the U.S.
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