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Indiana council begins fight against invasive plants

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A new council created by Indiana lawmakers is working to devise new ways of controlling invasive plants that are creeping into the state.

The Indiana Invasive Species Council was created by lawmakers in 2009 and has its offices at Purdue University. The group is urging state agencies, land trusts and other groups to work together to educate the public about the need to prevent invasive plant species from becoming established and spreading in Indiana.

Council chairman John Jachetta, who's a weed scientist at Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences, says invasive plants pose a major threat because they can spread rapidly and push out native plants important to native animals.

A weed from Europe called Canada thistle, for example, crowds out native vegetation and reduces crop and forage yields.