Roadside Weed Control
By Jim Jahr
Jim is the Western US Area Manager for Helena Chemical Company. He is responsible for Helena’s turf and ornamental, lawn care, pest control and industrial vegetation management business from New Mexico to California and as far north as Washington. Jim has over 23 years of experience in the industry. He has participated in numerous trade organizations such as the Inland Empire GCSA and the Pacific Northwest STMA, and he is a past president of the Washington State Weed Association.
Have you ever driven down the road and looked at the road shoulder mile after mile? If not, you have not ridden with a Helena Professional before. Your view of the road will be different after a Helena Mile.
Roadside weeds can create several issues for motorists, road district personnel and wildlife. Kochia (Kochia scoparia), for example, in the western states is known for its rapid growth and ability to spread and take over areas in a very short amount of time. It can grow from its rosette stage, barely noticeable, to two feet tall or bigger in a matter of weeks. Imagine a road shoulder of plants and grasses 3-6 feet tall during the busiest travel times of the year. If not controlled early these plants can cause line of sight issues for motorists and prevent rainfall from leaving the pavement causing puddling and potential hydro-plaining of vehicles. Wildlife attempting to cross highways are not visible if this vegetation is tall and at the edge of the pavement and it also becomes a fire hazard for stalled cars parked on the side of the road.
Controlling Kochia and other summer weeds before they are a problem is our best course of action. Many different combinations of products can be effective and, depending on your region, should go out in the fall or early spring. Velossa, Perspective, Esplanade, Oust and Grounded are all possible tank mix partners for a solid residual prevention program. If this opportunity is missed and a post emergent spray is warranted, get it out early if at all possible. Post emergent tank mix options include Trump Card, Brush-Rhap and Vision with Dyne-Amic for optimum control.
Next time traveling down the highway take a look to your right and enjoy a Helena Mile.