Railroad Vegetation Management Solutions and Support
Rodney and Jeff Osburn oversee equipment use for the company’s weed, grass and brush control programs, which are applied throughout railroad rights-of-way in more than 30 states. Off-track vehicles, spray trains and hy-rail trucks (<1K gal) are used to complete the company’s herbicide treatments along nearly 40,000 miles of railroad each year.
RWC also chooses the formulations it sprays on most of the railroads it manages. Rodney and Jeff use their expertise to identify the best products for their clients, but the reliable support of Homer Deckard, vegetation management specialist with Corteva Agriscience, has been very helpful.
Deckard has served railroad vegetation management programs with industry insights and Corteva’s evolving portfolio of herbicide products since 1981. He provides new chemistry recommendations to railroad vegetation managers, as well as product performance assessments and strategies that align with industry best practices. And while RWC continues to serve its clients with cutting-edge products and cost-effective solutions, Deckard notes that inferior herbicide products are temptations that vegetation managers are wise to avoid.
“There are less-effective herbicides out there that may allow you to treat at a lower cost per acre, but those options usually offer shorter treatment cycles,” Deckard says. “That can lead to additional treatment requirements each year. And while manufacturers of cheaper products may offer lower prices upfront, they often fail to provide technical and claims support to their customers, which are valued resources for today’s practitioners.”
To effectively control invasive weed and brush species, RWC often uses herbicide products like Opensight® and Tordon® 22K. Combating herbicide-resistant weeds also requires RWC to regularly evaluate the performance of herbicides in the field. Necessary adjustments are then applied based on the company’s findings, which is a best practice for industry professionals as far as Deckard is concerned.
“Rotating chemistry is a recommended strategy for today’s herbicide programs,” Deckard says. “Introducing new active ingredients can help to minimize resistance, lengthen the life cycle of effective chemistries and improve long-term vegetation control.”
TerraVue herbicide is the most recent addition to RWC’s arsenal of selective herbicides. TerraVue helps to prevent weed resistance and strengthens bareground mixes. The compatibility of TerraVue with multiple tank-mix partners is also an added benefit for vegetation management programs that rotate chemistries to battle weed resistance.
Achieving the Ultimate Goal
Providing reliable, effective and cost-efficient solutions to its customers is extremely important to RWC. And thanks to the application flexibility, enhanced efficacy and economic benefits provided by the company’s herbicide program, there doesn’t seem to be a need to change its approach anytime soon.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to keep the corridor of each right-of-way free of weeds,” Jeff says. “And as far as what you get out of them, the benefits of selective herbicide applications are invaluable.”
For help identifying the right herbicide solutions for your railroad management needs, contact your local vegetation management specialist from Corteva Agriscience or visit VegetationMgmt.com.
™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Tordon® 22K is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Opensight® has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with Opensight and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. Consult the label for full details. Always read and follow label directions.