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County weed board prepares for season

By Sue Sitter - | Apr 3, 2021

The Pierce County Weed Board met March 29 in the county courthouse to prepare for the growing season and elect officers for 2021.

Board members listened to an inventory report by Dave Walker of Walker Landscaping, who recommended quantities of herbicides to order for the year.

Due to drought conditions in Pierce County, Walker recommended cutting back on some chemicals, such as surfactants to help the herbicides stay on weeds.

However, board member Todd Lysne explained after the presentation how it was important for the county to prepare for a variety of possible weather conditions.

“We have to order not knowing if we’re going to be in drought conditions in June or July. We have to have stock in case it rains,” Lysne said.

“Weeds are going to be an issue with the drought,” he said.

“Your weeds are easier to control when they’re actively growing and taking moisture in,” Lysne added. “When there’s no moisture, they go dormant and they don’t take the chemical in as well, either, so the chemical doesn’t work as well. That’s probably the biggest issue.”

“The chemicals won’t be as effective in drought conditions,” Lysne added.

Lysne noted some weeds have become more common with the increase in no-till methods.

“Marestail is going to be a problem because it’s moving into this area,” Lysne said. “It hasn’t been around very much before. We didn’t really hear about it until about 15 years ago. The more we’ve gotten into the no-till practice, the more we’ve heard about it.”

“It was maybe here before but it was controlled by tillage,” Lysne said.

Lysne said more farmers would likely choose no-till methods because of the drought to preserve soil moisture.

However, he added, “The drought will cause problems all the way around.”

The board voted to advertise for sealed bids on chemicals needed for the 2021 season. The bids would be opened April 19.

The board also elected Dave Migler as chair and Jason Marchus as secretary/treasurer for the 2021 season.

In other business, the board reviewed their 2021 plan of operation, which includes continuing the cost share program to offer herbicides at reduced costs to county residents with pesticide cards. The plan also provides for Walker to spray weeds along highway right-of-ways. Additionally, the plan includes provisions for addressing noxious weed complaints with a letter and a 10 day to two-week period to comply.

March financials for the board reported an expenditure of $446.65 for March, which amounted to 0.23 percent of the total annual budget of $192,206.14.

The board will next meet April 19.

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