Weed commissioner announces noxious weed policy

It’s the time of year for home and land owners to take inventory of the plants on their properties.

The Dickinson County Board of Supervisors approved the 2018 noxious weed policy for the county at its meeting Tuesday, May 8.

“The state-listed noxious weeds are economic threats to agriculture and ecological threats to native plants communities,” said weed commissioner Aric Ping. “They have invaded or been introduced from other parts of the world and tend to not have natural enemies here that would normally hinder their proliferation. Some thrive in the continual disturbance of a row-crop production model while others outcompete native plants in degraded ecosystems.”

Each land owner must control all noxious weeds to keep them from blooming or coming to maturity the following designated weeds prior to the listed dates:

June 4: Poison hemlock, musk thistle, leafy spurge, hoary cress, wild mustard.

June 25: Canada thistle, leafy spurge, Russian knapweed, buckthorn, red sorrel, smooth dock, multiflora rose, quackgrass

July 9: Field bindweed, wild carrot, teasel, horsenettle, perennial sowthistle, velvetleaf, puncturevine, cocklebur, bull thistle, shattercane, purple loosestrife, palmer amaranth.

However, these are only guidelines. Weather conditions may cause weeds to mature ahead of normal and may require control measures prior to the listed dates.

“Each plant is different and so are the methods of control,” Ping said. “The state mandates that the listed noxious weeds be prevented from setting seed through cutting, burning or herbicide application. Different control methods work better for different plants. The Midwest Invasive Plant Network website has a number of control strategies for invasive plants. People may also contact me for information on control strategies.”

Home and land owners should check their green spaces to analyze if they have any noxious weeds. If anyone has trouble identifying any possible noxious weeds, Ping suggested utilizing sites such as the USDA plants website and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States.

Any landowners that fail to comply with the noxious weed policy may be fined, but Ping is willing to help anyone to avoid these situations.

“Substantial failure to comply with an order for control from the weed commissioner can result in a $10 per day fine,” Ping said. “Also, if I must take action to control the infestation, any and all costs associated with that action will be added to the fine. This fine is added on to property taxes. This is a last resort situation. I’d much rather work with landowners on solutions to their weed problems.”

Ping is available to help landowners with plant identification, control strategies and to also take complaints about properties in violation of the noxious weed policy. He can be reached at 712-336-6269 or e-mail aping@co.dickinson.ia.us.

For more information on the noxious weed policy, contact Ping or visit the weed commissioner page to read the entire resolution.

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