3 Common Weed Control Issues and How to Solve Them

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Sagebrush along highway

Learn how to overcome some of the biggest challenges land managers face in the West as they work to control invasive and noxious weeds.

Invasive and noxious weeds create countless issues for land managers and ranchers in western regions of the United States. In addition to choking out the development of beneficial native plant communities, this undesirable vegetation can compromise the integrity of transportation infrastructure and negatively impact biodiversity throughout roadsides, utility sites, rangeland and other noncrop areas.

As industry professionals work with contract partners to control these undesirable plants effectively, three key challenges often present roadblocks on their path to success:

  1. Rough Terrain
    The West is riddled with mountainous landscapes and dense vegetation, both of which can hinder site accessibility for weed management programs. While mechanical equipment is often too large to reach invasive and noxious species in certain areas, backpack sprayers enable licensed applicators to effectively treat incompatible vegetation with herbicides on hard-to-reach treatment sites. This chemical-based control strategy can reduce re-treatment needs and improve productivity. Moreover, selective herbicide applications can enhance one of the greatest challenges of all: budget management.
  2. Annual Resource Limitations
    Turbulent weather patterns, budget restrictions and skilled labor shortages are three factors that can make life difficult for land managers and ranchers alike. While storms, drought and tight budgets can derail planned treatment cycles, the availability of skilled labor professionals also impedes productivity — especially for programs that rely predominantly on mechanical mowing for vegetation control.

    In addition to guzzling exorbitant amounts of fuel, mowing practices generally require more professionals in the field. Herbicide applications require significantly less fuel and require smaller teams composed of licensed applicators. 
  3. Weed Resistance
    Another problem with mowing equipment is that it frequently deposits seeds from resistant species during transportation. This leads to unpredictable growth along roadsides — where weed control plays a major role in safeguarding the integrity of transportation infrastructure.

    Herbicide treatments can be used to control invasive and noxious weeds without stimulating regrowth or spreading viable seeds. However, it’s worth noting that most plants have the ability to grow tolerant to even the most trusted chemistries on the market. That’s why weed management programs must adjust treatment plans when targeted plants display the ability to survive and reproduce following exposure to previously effective herbicide applications. 
    Since vegetation that survives treatments at increased use rates will likely produce equally resistant plants, increasing product use rates should never be the answer for reasserting control over resistant species. Instead, professionals should plan to add active ingredients with different modes of action and/or sites of action to control incompatible vegetation and reduce the amount of herbicide they use each year. Doing so can improve the efficacy and cost-efficiency of most weed control programs.

Product Selection Plays An Integral Role

Tank-mixing compatible chemistries is an easy way for applicators to introduce new active ingredients and maintain control of invasive or noxious weeds. This strategy can broaden the spectrum of control, reduce application use rates, and yield landscapes that support land-use goals as well as native wildlife. 

Until recently, a common complaint about herbicides has been product label limitations, which force applicators to switch out chemistries before treating unique application sites. This requirement can seem even more daunting when targeted plants grow resistant to certain chemistries. 

Fortunately, HighNoon® herbicide from Corteva Agriscience simplifies weed control on multiple use sites where noxious or invasive weeds pose the primary broadleaf weed threat. That’s because HighNoon herbicide is labeled for use in most noncrop areas, including roadsides, rights-of-way, habitat areas, rangeland and hayfields. As a single product that delivers exceptional application flexibility across a wide range of sites, HighNoon herbicide enhances residual control; impedes the development of more than 140 weed species; and enhances performance where other herbicide products may fall short. 

HighNoon herbicide combines the same active ingredient as Milestone® herbicide (aminopyralid) with Rinskor® active, a reduced-risk herbicide that won the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award. In addition to improving results throughout roadsides and utility sites, Rinskor active is the first new active ingredient available for rangeland and pastures in nearly 15 years. 

The product’s tank-mix compatibility with other chemistries allows applicators to effectively control broadleaf weeds and undesirable annual grasses, including ventenata and Italian ryegrass. In areas where total vegetation control is essential, HighNoon herbicide can be tank-mixed with Piper® EZ herbicide to broaden the spectrum of control and maintain bareground results throughout the year. Applicators also can mix HighNoon herbicide with liquid fertilizer in certain states to provide better handling properties. 

To learn more about HighNoon herbicide and the product’s ability to offer an unmatched combination of use site flexibility, safety on desirable grasses and forbs, and an extensive weed control spectrum, visit HighNoonHerbicide.com.

For more information regarding best practices for invasive or noxious weed control, the management of complex ecosystems and achieving land-use objectives throughout western territories, click here


™ ® HighNoon and Rinskor are trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Piper® is a registered trademark of Valent U.S.A. LLC. Piper EZ is not registered for sale or use in all states. Under normal field conditions, HighNoon® is nonvolatile. HighNoon and Milestone® have 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 HighNoon or Milestone and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. HighNoon and Milestone are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Consult product labels for full details. Rinskor® is a registered active ingredient. Always read and follow label directions. 


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