Roger Leduc - Weed Supervisor
2020 was a challenging year as far as application was concerned. Starting off the year with heavy winds that persisted for a month and then drought conditions that took us till autumn. Nevertheless work was mostly completed in a timely order.
New for 2020 was the introduction of a private spraying program for the control of Leafy Spurge on private farm property. This was introduced to have a more hands on and communicative approach with producers in the control of invasive weeds. The method of sending Control Notices can be applied but eliminates the one to one interaction with producers.
The program consists in the weed supervisor communicating with producers who have Leafy Spurge on their property. The Weed Supervisor gives them the options of controlling the spread, which consists of mowing, burning, cultivation or chemical application. Mowing and burning will stop seed set but will not stop root tapping. Cultivation is a good method of control because Leafy Spurge does not establish in cultivated land. But most of the Leafy Spurge infestations are in old sandy pastures and wooded areas, which doesn’t make cultivation much of an option.
Chemical applications with agricultural herbicides like 24D and Dicamba will suppress and fractionally control the infestation but applications have to be repeated yearly. There is also grazing restrictions on those products. Picloram ( Tordon 22K ) can be very successful controlling Leafy Spurge, but leaves a residue in the soil that can last 5 years. Picloram can easily leach in sandy soil with significant rainfall can end up in ground water.
According to the PESTICIDE USE PERMIT
Section 36. The Permittee shall not apply water soluble persistent and/or leachable herbicides including picloram, to areas where:
- Soils are permeable through the entire profile
- Soils contain sink holes over limestone bedrock; or
- Surfaces are composed of severely fractured rock or unconsolidated gravel and underlain by an aquifer
Section 37. The Permittee shall not apply picloram products when water is present in a municipal roadside ditch or when significant rain is expected.
The other option is to hire the municipality at a cost to control or eradicate the pest
This option is the most successful because of the herbicide that is used, the herbicide used is Navius or Navius Flex chemical name Aminocyclopyrachlor. Navius translocates very well into the leaves and roots of the plant. Which makes it successful on Leafy Spurge because of its extensive root system. Navius also has no grazing restriction. You can apply the herbicide with livestock in the pasture. There is some restrictions if you move the livestock.
You have to be licensed to apply to this product though, that’s why the municipality has to apply it or the producer has to find somebody that’s licensed to apply it. You also have to be licensed to purchase it as well.
The producer is charged cost of the herbicide and $75.00 for application.
Another concern that has to be addressed for the coming year is the intentional desiccation of ditch field slopes.
Some producers are obviously putting there booms over the ditch slopes of the municipal ditches and drains and killing all the grass. This would be done by the use of Group 9 chemicals like glyphosate ( Roundup ). There is no benefit for the producer in doing so.
This encourages the growth of multiple different weeds, some being noxious weeds. You can see thick stands of different species of thistles, milkweed, kochia etc which are difficult to control.
This also leaves ditches vulnerable to erosion and wash outs.
A healthy stand of grassy vegetation will secure the life of a ditch.
Any questions feel free to contact me