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Schmidt: Project Safe Send has Rugby location

By Staff | Jun 27, 2014

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is planning 12 Project Safe Send sites, and is encouraging anyone with banned or unusable pesticides to schedule a trip to one of the Project Safe Send sites this July. This year there will be a pesticide drop off site in Rugby on Thursday, July 17, at 617 1st Street N. Pesticides may be delivered between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The program is for everyone farmers, ranchers, pesticide dealers and applicators, government agencies, and homeowners. It’s a safe, simple and non-regulatory program to help you safely and legally get rid of unusable pesticides free of charge. It is a no questions asked program.

The program accepts any pesticides (i.e. herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, and fungicides) that are old, unusable, or banned. Participants can bring their unusable pesticides to a scheduled collection site. A contractor unloads the wastes for participants and collects any paperwork. The whole process usually takes just a few minutes. After the collection, pesticides are carefully packed and shipped out of state for incineration.

People with more than 1,000 pounds of pesticides should preregister by contacting the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. No other preregistration is required. A maximum of 20,000 pounds of pesticide per participant will be accepted. Pesticide rinse water also will be accepted at any of the 12 collection sites. The first 100 pounds of rinse water will be taken free of charge, and then a fee of $1.00 per pound will be applied for each additional pound of rinse water.

Please check your storage areas for any unusable pesticides and set them aside for Project Safe Send. In the meantime, keep pesticides locked up safely. If you have deteriorating or leaking containers, over pack them in larger containers and add absorbent materials. Free heavy-duty plastic bags are available from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

For more information, visit nd.gov/ndda or call 1-800-242-7535

Herbicide injury to garden and landscape plants

When properly used, herbicides rarely cause problems on non-target plants. Herbicide injury can occur when inappropriate application methods are used, when they turn into a gas (volatilization), or when they are blown by the wind away from the targeted area (often called drift).

A number of calls have come into my office with homeowners describing curling, cupping, twisting and/or stunted looking leaves in garden and landscape plants and trees. In most cases these signs indicate exposure to some type of herbicide coming from an inappropriately applied broadleaf weed herbicide for lawns. According to Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension Service Horticulturalist, “Now is not a good time to kill dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in the lawn. You will have better success at killing weeds if you wait until late September this is when weeds move nutrients and herbicides down to their roots. The cooler temps at that time will reduce the likelihood of chemicals volatilizing and drifting onto your garden plants.”

There are several reasons that may cause herbicides to end up in a spot in your landscape other than the intended location. These include:

1. Formulation The form of the herbicide’s active ingredient determines how it should be applied and its likelihood of causing plant injury. Some formulations are more likely to volatize (turn into a gaseous vapor) than others. This means they can be carried with or without wind to non-target plants. Most of our lawn weed killers contain highly volatile herbicides which can drift a considerable distance.

2. Application method – Fine spray droplets are more likely to drift from the intended application site. So, using application methods that produce larger droplets, such as lower pressures or sprayers with large orifice nozzles, can help minimize drift potential. Additionally, in some cases, garden sprayers are often used for application of other pesticides, such as those to control insects. If the sprayer has not been thoroughly cleaned after herbicide application, garden plants and trees can inadvertently be injured by remaining herbicide residue still in the sprayer.

3. Temperature – High temperatures (above 85F) during or immediately after application may cause some herbicides to vaporize – especially highly volatile formulations – or move to areas outside the site of application.

4. Wind – Even on days that seem calm we can still have small wind gusts, which can move herbicide spray droplets away from the intended site and cause injury to non-target plants. Larger droplets and spraying closer to target plants can reduce drift.

5. Soil factors – Depending on the herbicide, location of roots in the soil, soil type, and moisture. some herbicides, whether soil-applied or not, are capable of moving through soil especially following rain or irrigation. Other herbicides do not persist in the soil long. Herbicide labels will specify if the product has a potential to move in the soil and injure adjacent plants due to root uptake. Use caution when applying soil-applied weed control products to lawns near trees, especially in the area of the tree’s drip line as some trees are especially sensitive to the herbicides (2, 4-D, mecoprop, and dicamba) often found in these formulations. Tree roots can extend 2-3 times the length of its longest branches past the drip line. Depending on how severe the exposure most trees will survive minor herbicide damage but younger trees will be more susceptible to permanent damage.

Always take time to read, understand, and follow the product label as pesticide labels provide specific instructions that must be followed whether the product being applied is a herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide.

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