Thank you for considering in participating in this voluntary program. We as a county want to make this program very clear; we are trying to give individuals that don’t want herbicide applications to be done near their property or adjacent to their agricultural fields the opportunity /ability to manage the growth of weeds and brush in the right of way. We as stewards of our county resources see this as an opportunity to ensure making sure wishes of landowners are met by limiting the possibility of herbicide trespass to sensitive sites, while preserving safe travels on secondary roads. Winneshiek County Secondary Roads utilizes spraying as one of the tools in our toolbox to help control weeds and brush, here are a couple more points from our program:
- Our roadside program realizes there are many specialty crop registry clearinghouses such as DriftWatch – https://driftwatch.org/ that individuals can register sensitive commodity areas. Our roadside department wanted to ensure we had a clear directory of all that wanted to participate to ensure a Right of Way (ROW) wasn’t mistakenly sprayed due to missing the locations site posting and to be as environmentally transparent as possible.
- Our roadside program doesn’t broadcast spay large swaths of right way, we utilize technology and equipment that allows us to use herbicide in a controlled application of by selecting nozzles that will apply to undesirable species with precision needed to reduce drift and off target application.
- The herbicides and surfactants we use are all roadside vegetation labeled with an emphasis on stringently reviewed EPA designated aquatic/terrestrial use. We do this to ensure the herbicides we utilize are as safe as possible for the environment; aquatic based herbicides must not show any biomagnification or persistence in the environment. Plus, we predominantly use herbicides that have the lowest EPA signal words that exhibit the least acute toxicity to the applicator and those that may live near application sites.
- With the use of technology/precision measurement tools in our direct injection system allows us to set the ratio of herbicide with carrier(water) from a separate tank safeguarding we stay within the guidelines of the label to ensure accurate application and reducing human error in over application.
- Herbicide application is primarily done by our roadside staff to ensure we have complete control and accountability of what is being applied by our staff, this change guarantees we have complete control of oversight on desired vegetation management.
- Our roadside department utilizes daily a vegetative survey that was completed on all our gravel secondary road ROWs throughout our 1,000 miles of road top. This allowed us to have a cross section of over 4,000 site investigations, looking at least 12 parameters of what vegetation was growing in those transects. This survey gave us a baseline of vegetative make up of our county secondary roads, documented areas of erosion, areas of interest, points of safety concern, right of way intrusion, invasive species locales, distribution of weeds/brush and an ecological snapshot of unique species such as remnant prairies or sites of higher probability of ecological significance.
Information about this partner program: Winneshiek County Roadside Maintenance Agreement for No Spray Request Program 4.2020
Partnering request form: Winneshiek County Roadside Maintenance Agreement Request