Date: 2012-03-09 Writer: Jane
Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org
LOS LUNAS, N.M. - It takes a community to fight an
infestation of noxious weeds. Only through a coordinated
effort can these villains that threaten agricultural
production be managed.
The first step in controlling noxious weeds is to gain an
understanding of the concerns and issues associated with
the various plants.
Residents of Valencia County are being called to arms, or
at least spray applicators, during a noxious weed workshop
hosted by New Mexico State University's Valencia County
Cooperative Extension Service on Friday, March 30.
The free workshop will be from 8 a.m.-noon at the
UNM-Valencia Campus Student Community Center, 280 La
Entrada Road, Los Lunas.
"Representatives of several agencies involved in fighting
noxious weeds in the county will be present to discuss the
various aspects of preventing and controlling noxious
weeds," said Kyle Tator, NMSU Valencia County Extension
agricultural agent. "The workshop is a collaboration
between Valencia County Extension, New Mexico Department of
Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service -
Los Lunas field office, and Valencia Soil and Water
Noxious weeds have been a problem in Valencia County for
quite a while, according to Jim Wanstall, NMDA state
noxious weed coordinator.
"Over the last 10 years the issues have spread and grown
away from the irrigation ditches, which have been a conduit
for the weeds' seeds to move through the area," Wanstall
The primary noxious weed flourishing in the county is
perennial pepperweed, Wanstall said, "but another species
that is getting out of control is Russian knapweed. And
there are other species on the state's noxious weed list
that we haven't had to deal with until now."
During the workshop Yasmeen Najmi, Middle Rio Grande
Conservancy District planner, will report on the district's
noxious week mapping project which plotted locations of
various species of weeds along 400 miles of the district's
irrigation and drainage ditches in Bernalillo and Valencia
"The noxious weeds on the state list have become a focus of
our very active weed management program," Najmi said.
"Noxious weeds often have different and more complex
management requirements than what we might be doing for
normal weed management."
With the information gained from the mapping, MRGCD is
establishing priorities that the weed mapping contractor
suggested for management, including providing noxious weed
and herbicide specific training to the district's weed
"During the mapping, the contractor, in places, noted that
weed infestation extends into private land," Najmi said.
"This information and increased outreach will help our
partners assist private landowners to identify and
concurrently treat noxious weeds on their properties to
increase overall effectiveness."
During the workshop Greg Apler of Dow Chemical will provide
similar information to county residents on how to identify
the weeds and what herbicide will eliminate the plants.
Josh Brown, an NMSU graduate student studying bio-control
agents to control Russian knapweed, will discuss his
research. He is testing the effectiveness of gall midge in
controlling the weed. The insect lays its eggs in the
knapweed plant and then the hatched larvae destroy their
host. Brown is seeking locations in Valencia County for
Representatives from the Claunch-Pinto and Edgewood soil
and water conservation districts will also be present to
discuss their districts' successful cooperative weed
management area plans.
The workshop is free, and no pre-registration is necessary.
Call 505-565-3002 for more information.