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Let the weed battle begin

They say that in spring a young man’s fancy turns to baseball, but my fancy turns to — weeds. As the weather warms up and the ground softens, I am gearing up to fight one of the biggest problems we face here in the Valley — noxious, invasive weeds. The cost to farmers and landowners is huge, especially for the certified weed free hay growers. The good news is that we don’t fight alone. Jeff Begovich, the Douglas County Weed District Coordinator, and Steve Foster the Extension Educator from Pershing County presented a great program on weed management strategies in operation in Douglas County. Steve shared some key take-aways for Ruhenstroth. Weed management work is regularly needed particularly in areas that have bare soil with no competing desirable vegetation, no effective mulching layer, nothing to keep weeds from invading. Accept this fact or change it. Know your weeds and be the scout. Become familiar with our noxious weeds, be able to recognize them, and take action when they appear on your property. It is the property owner’s responsibility to control noxious weeds. Use resources such as your local Cooperative Extension office at 1325 Waterloo Lane, the County Weed District and/or use books such as “Weeds of the West.” Get serious about noxious weeds such as puncturevine AKA goathead commonly found in Ruhenstroth. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide precisely following label directions. You might need to re-apply treatment in August for best control. Other weed management strategies include planting cover crops and vigilant weed removal — always more effective if done before seeding occurs. The Weed Control Division focuses on treating noxious weeds within Douglas County. They also provide both pre- and post-emergent weed control services for residential and commercial properties. One big benefit they provide is that they rent spray equipment and sell herbicides at less than retail. Some noxious weeds to be on the lookout for in Ruhenstroth are: Puncturevine (Goathead), Canada Thistle Perennial Pepperweed, Hoary Cress (Short Whitetop), and Russian Knapweed. To obtain weed brochures and for more information, drop by or call Jeff at the weed office at 782-5799. Steve can be reached at lewiss@unce.unr.edu.

For those with grazing animals, there is an upcoming workshop at the Nature Conservancy on Genoa Lane 8 a.m.-3 p.m. May 18 on Nevada grazing and weed management. Topics to be covered include weed control strategies and grazing techniques to reduce degradation of your land due to weed infestation. The cost is $10 and a barbecue lunch will be served. To reserve a space, contact Jamie Greer at jgreer@agri.nv.gov or (775) 353-3640.

Reach Karen Brier at RuhenstrothRamblings@yahoo.com, or 790-0072.