Vegetation management involves identifying weedy and invasive species and responding to potential threats to the desirable aspects of the habitat/ecosystem. For example:
- Utility service lines such as water supply, sewage, electricity, and telecommunications are laid out in areas dominated by vegetation. Consequently, utility companies must ensure that their services reach customers uninterrupted, while at the same time managing vegetation along supply lines without compromising the physical integrity of habitat/ecosystem vegetation.
- Urban parks that are green spaces which are open to area residents and visitors. Urban areas are subdivided into active and passive recreation areas.
- Active recreation areas include spaces for playgrounds, fields for team sports, gardens, etc., and usually involve intensive management and maintenance that can be costly.
- Passive recreation areas emphasize the open-space aspect of a park allowing for preservation of natural habitats as much as possible. Passive recreation areas serve as picnic areas, trails for running, hiking, and biking, etc., and usually require little management that can be provided at low cost.
- Nature preserves are areas that are set aside for the purpose of preserving animals and plants for the benefit of humankind. Nature preserves are home to numerous diverse species, some of which are threatened or endangered and must be protected.
- Wildlife habitats are areas where wildlife find conditions essential for their survival, including food, shelter, water, and space. The habitat conditions need to be in sufficient amounts to allow the wildlife species to live, reproduce, and sustain its population.
In crop production, vegetation management is frequent, simple, intensive, and costly. On the other hand, habitats that serve as utility service lines, urban parks, nature preserves, and home to wildlife require vegetation management that is less frequent, and costs can vary widely.
The need for vegetation management: Weedy and invasive plants
Weedy and invasive plant are a unique class of plants that can enter a habitat, quickly become established, and change the nature of the habitat. It’s like the invasive plants sneak in and try and act like they belong in or become ‘owners’ of their new habitat.
As they are getting established, invasive plants are doing everything they can to get rid of native plant species in the habitat. If nothing is done to get rid of them, the invasive plants may become the dominant species within the habitat with an ability to spread into new areas.
While stopping the spread of invasive species is a priority for many land managers, it isn’t always easy to identify which species is invasive and has the potential to spread and become a major concern. To complicate matters, when managing vegetation in nature preserves and wildlife habitats, attention must be given to maintaining species diversity and protecting endangered and threatened species.
What is the impact of weedy and invasive plants?
- Biodiversity – Weedy and invasive plant spread quickly, replace native plants, and create monocultures. Consequently, the weedy and invasive plant monocultures cause biological pollution by reducing plant species diversity.
- Fire risk – Weedy and invasive plant monocultures can serve as fuel for wildfires.
- Fish and wildlife habitat – Weedy and invasive plants that become established in a habitat can lead to declines in native plants and become a contributing factor to the endangerment of some vital habitat species.
- Tree cover – Weedy and invasive plants can reduce the amount of tree cover, prevent them from becoming established, cause them to fall prematurely, or reduce their growth rate.
- Costs – Annual cost of weedy and invasive plants to the US economy is estimated at $120 billion.
Now that we have examined factors that are most important for vegetation management, let’s discuss some specific approaches using Brewer 90-10 surfactant with your herbicide. Brewer 90-10 has been one of Brewer International’s leading nonionic surfactant that is used widely in a variety of industries across the United States including, agriculture, citrus, turf, utility and highway rights-of-way, and aquatic.
How do you prevent weedy and invasive plants from becoming established in a habitat?
Herbicides used judiciously provide the most efficient way to maintain the population of weedy and invasive plants at levels that do not compromise habitat stability. Herbicides on the market today are generally classified by their formulation, mode of action, and site of action.
The challenge is in selecting the best herbicide that will control the weedy and invasive plant species and applying it without harming desirable species. In doing so, the weedy and invasive plants are managed, and low native plants can continue their establishment and contribution to a healthy habitat.
Optimizing your vegetation management using herbicide.
- First, you need to select the best technique to use to ensure you get the best delivery of the herbicide and maximum herbicidal activity and control.
- Second, you need to select the best herbicide for this purpose.
- Third, you need to select the best surfactant and/or adjuvant to maximize herbicide efficacy and woody plant species control.
Here are some guidelines for controlling weedy and invasive plants.
- Weed species identification: Identify the weedy and invasive plant species present in the habitat that requires vegetation management.
Understanding the biology and ecology of the identified weed: You need to know the enemy before you strike. Therefore, useful weed biology and ecology information that can help identify vulnerabilities of the weedy and invasive plant species includes, life cycle characteristics, emergence timing, leaf characteristics, developmental stages, and reproduction.
- Selecting the appropriate herbicide(s): Your habitat is likely going to be populated with a variety of species, some of which are good species while some are weedy and invasive.
Remember: Read the product label to ensure that the herbicide you select is safe to use in habitat that is infested with weedy and invasive plants.
- Selecting the appropriate adjuvant(s): When applying postemergence herbicides, adding an adjuvant to your spray mixture can enhance the activity of the herbicide and/or modify its physical properties. More specifically:
- Use Brewer 90-10 nonionic surfactant for your vegetation management. Advantages of using Brewer 90-10 in your postemergence weedy and invasive plant control program include:
- Reduced surface tension of spray droplets which improves the wetting of plant foliage and increases herbicide uptake.
- Breakdown of the waxy cuticle of leaf surfaces which enables more effective herbicide uptake and improved control.
- Helping herbicides penetrate leaves of weedy and invasive plant species for enhanced control.
- Nonionic properties which allow Brewer 90-10 to be mixed with a variety of chemicals including other pesticides and fertilizers, in tank mixes.
- Brewer 90-10 is formulated as a low-foam surfactant.
- In addition to using Brewer 90-10 to improve control efficacy, you may need to use additional adjuvants to confront some commonly encountered problems associated with pesticide spray applications. For example:
- If you think your water source might compromise herbicide activity you will need to include a water-conditioning agent like Brewer’s Water Conditioner. The benefits of using Brewer’s Water Conditioner include, buffering the pH of the water, chelating iron, sequestering hard minerals like calcium and magnesium salts, and promoting wetting of foliage and uptake of herbicide.
- If environmental conditions may cause spray to go off-target and cause unintended damage elsewhere, consider using a drift control adjuvant like Brewer’s Poly Control 2. The benefits of using Brewer’s Poly Control 2 adjuvant include, increasing spray droplet size which increases herbicide reaching the intended target, and enhancing the retention of spray droplets on intended target.
- If you anticipate the development of foam in the spray tank that might compromise herbicide efficacy, use a defoaming adjuvant like Brewer’s Defoamer. The benefits of using Brewer’s Defoamer adjuvant include preventing foam buildup within the spray tank and reducing the potential for the development of foam during spraying to provide uniform delivery of herbicide to the target.
Read the Label
Make sure you read the pesticide label and follow all recommended instructions.
In use for several decades, Brewer 90-10 is used by several applicators across the country and in a variety of ways. Brewer International customers trust our dedication to quality ingredients, tried and true formulas, and positive outcomes.