Tackle Resistant Weeds, Increase Site Safety

With a growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds, applicators are looking for new options to keep utility sites weed-free.

As the number of herbicide-resistant weeds continues to grow, applicators are challenged to find the most effective methods to keep these tough weeds under control at utility sites and elsewhere. Read on to learn how one applicator is winning the battle against resistant weeds to improve site safety and reduce client concerns.

In this issue:

Fine-Tune Tough Resistant Weed Control

Keeping power flowing at utility sites and maintaining infrastructure around oil and natural gas sites is always a challenge for vegetation management crews, but the upsurge in herbicide-resistant weeds has amped up their task. To adhere to maintenance and safety standards required at these sites, applicators have had to adapt their strategies to match evolving weed-control challenges.

The team at Chemical Weed Control, a Texas-based vegetation management company covering 11 states, is constantly searching for the best way to maintain a weed-free, safe environment at utility sites to help ensure a steady stream of energy, says Layne Fields, operations manager for the company’s northern region.

“Our customers recognize that they’re part of the communities in which they’re located and want to be good neighbors and environmental stewards by maintaining clean, safe sites,” says Fields. “Whether we’re working on an oil, natural gas or electric utility site, we need to keep out encroaching weeds so crews do not run over our operators' equipment. We also need to keep small weeds from turning into trees that can get into transformers and other instrumentation, thus interrupting service.”

Resistant Weeds Add Pressure

Complicating vegetation management for Fields and his crew is development of difficult-to-control herbicide-resistant weeds.

“We’ve been trying to stay ahead of tough weeds such as Russian thistle, kochia, pigweed and ragweed for the last decade,” Fields notes. “Recently, we’ve found that a two-pass-per-year herbicide program with spring and fall applications provides very good control for our customers.”

Fields uses DuPont™ Perspective® herbicide in one application of the two-pass program, adding a tank-mix partner for a broader spectrum of control.

“We’ve used Perspective® for more than two years and have had really good success controlling resistant species that previously gave us trouble,” he says. “Without Perspective®, we were looking at making more than two applications a year to keep tough species under control.”

Long-Lasting Residual Control

To arrive at a successful two-pass program, Fields tested several combinations of products and application timings at different sites. One of his most successful treatments has been a Perspective® + ProClipse tank-mix application during the fall-to-winter time frame.

“We’ve found that a Perspective® + ProClipse winter application followed by adequate moisture helped keep sites with resistant weeds clean longer into the spring,” Fields says. “We had some sites in the northern Texas Panhandle that were still clean more than a year after a winter application. That really surprised us.”

The second part of Fields’ two-pass program features a late spring or early summer application with herbicides that include an alternate mode of action for effective weed resistance management and consistent bareground weed control.

“We have been very pleased that Perspective® has helped us cut our retreatments, especially on resistant Russian thistle, kochia and pigweed, to nearly zero,” Fields adds. “And if we can avoid some retreatments, we’re not just saving the cost of the extra application, we’re also able to move that applicator on to other jobs and increase our revenue. That’s a big advantage for us.”

Weed Focus

Halt Russian Thistle

Russian thistle – or tumbleweed – rides fall and winter winds across fields and roadways, causing driving hazards for motorists and accumulating along tree rows, fencelines and other structures. (Photo courtesy of Eric Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture; Bugwood.org.)

Russian thistle poses a serious fire hazard, making it particularly dangerous at utility and industrial sites. A prolific seed producer, some Russian thistle plants yield more than 200,000 seeds, distributing them far and wide. Development of herbicide-resistant species of Russian thistle has made controlling this invasive weed even more difficult.

An effective treatment option for Russian thistle is DuPont™ Perspective® herbicide, which delivers two modes of action to help manage resistance. Apply Perspective® herbicide at a rate of 4.75 to 11 ounces per acre, using higher rates when treating resistant species. Including Perspective® in a fall application will stop explosive growth in the spring and inhibit Russian thistle seedhead formation for long-term control.

Product Spotlight

Perspective® Tank Mixes Deliver Effective Bareground Control

DuPont™ Perspective® herbicide controls field bindweed and resistant species of Russian thistle, kochia, marestail, prickly lettuce and other tough, invasive broadleaf species for safer, cleaner utility and industrial bareground sites. Perspective® also helps minimize equipment damage and reduces fire hazards, with fewer retreatments or return visits due to weed escapes.

When combined with a choice of tank-mix partners to control grasses, Perspective® delivers a complete bareground application.  See the table below for proven tank-mix options.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extend Pavement Life and Protect Public Safety

Clean, weed-free roadsides play a key role in maintaining public safety. Uncontrolled vegetation presents a variety of serious threats to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and can shorten the life span of road surfaces. See video.

By controlling weeds with a long-lasting Perspective® tank mix, roadsides remain weed-free throughout the season with one application, avoiding costly retreatments, minimizing the amount of time crews spend in harm's way and allowing crews to tackle other critical tasks.

DuPont™ Perspectives herbicide is for use in non-crop applications only and does not have a grazing tolerance. ProClipse is a registered trademark of Nufarm Americas Inc. The information provided on this website is for reference only. Always refer to the product labels for complete details and directions for use.