Controlling noxious weeds is one of the biggest problems we face in the management of natural resources, not only here but all over the country. Dozens of plant species found in this area are classified as noxious weeds. Most of which are non-native plants brought here from around the world, and without the natural controls found in their native environments they grow fast and unchecked. This allows for their rapid spread, and leads to larger problems over time.
Infestations of noxious weeds can displace native plant species, negatively impact soil health, threaten wildlife habitat, lowers the yields and quality of agricultural crops, creates monoculture stands of unusable plants, and takes limited water and nutrients resources away from more desirable plants. All of these situations can lead to serious damage, making the controlling noxious weeds very important.
Proper management of irrigation water, livestock grazing, and attention to soil quality are good preventive measures that allows desirable plant species to out compete invading weeds.
When stands of weeds do become established however, control or eradicating becomes a larger task. In most cases, a multi-step integrated pest management plan will lead to the best long-term success. Changes in land management practices, replanting desirable plants that will crowd out weed species, along with other practices are vital.
Due to aggressive hardiness of these weeds and usually the large size of the infested area, it is most feasible to begin this process by applying chemical herbicides.
When applied properly herbicides are highly affective, require less labor and cost less than other options.
However, there are quite a few factors that must be considered before going out in the field and doing the work. Good planning is needed in order to get the best results and insure label directions are followed. Early treatment and correct timing are big factors on how affective your application will be.
In order to successfully control weeds not only now, but also for years to come, it takes a combination of management activities that eliminate the already growing weeds and changes the growing conditions to prevent their regrowth.
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe Agriculture Division offers assistance on weed control issues by providing technical information and operating a cost share program to spray weeds on tribal agricultural lands. If you have question about controlling noxious weed or about the cost share program please call us at 970-563-0220 and stop by the Agriculture Division’s offices.