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Nielsen urges spot spraying policy

By Staff | Apr 21, 2011

While a lot of farmers would just as soon never see anything except corn and soybeans growing in Iowa, one Emmet County farmer Tuesday asked the board of supervisors to back off from broadcast spraying and take time to, well, smell the roses.

Bernard Nielsen also brought the board’s attention to legislation that went into effect last July 15 regulating how and when counties can mow or spray road ditches.

Mowing roadside vegetation is prohibited before July 15 except as follows:

n Within 200 yards of an inhabited dwelling.

n On rights-of-way within one mile of the corporate limits of a city.

n To promote native species of vegetation or other long-lived and adaptable vegetation.

n To establish control of damaging insect populations, noxious weeds and invasive plant species.

n For visibility and safety reasons.

n Within rest areas, weigh stations and wayside parks.

Further, Nielsen called the board’s attention to the fact that the legislation calls for spraying only when mowing is not practical.

In one instance, Nielsen said he saw a man harvesting asparagus 15-20 minutes after it has been sprayed. “I think you have a liability. I’m concerned about that,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen also offered concerns for pheasants in road ditches. “I feel like there shouldn’t be any spraying until after July 15 also,” he said.

Nielsen recommended the county scout, identify weeds and spot spray.

Supervisor Ron Smith asked Nielsen how he would recommend controlling wild carrot – an early emergent.

Nielsen recommended spot spraying as a solution.