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Cooperative Weed Management Areas

Would you join a public-private effort to control the spread of weeds?

The University of Illinois broaches the topic as one possible way to address weed pressure that goes across fences and jurisdictions.



"Large scale management of weed populations is vital to decreasing propagule pressure and reducing weed seedbanks, two of the principle process targets in integrated weed management strategies.[1]Unfortunately, demands for improved management techniques will escalate in many areas as herbicide resistance (HR) expands. One strategy--cooperative weed management areas (CWMAs)--have been a fixture in western rangeland systems, and are increasingly being adopted to manage invasive plant populations in the eastern U.S. CWMAs are defined loosely as coalitions of neighboring landowners, natural resource agencies, and conservation organizations that pool and distribute public and private resources to optimize regional weed control.[2] As plant dispersal is not restricted by land ownership boundaries, and both the direct and indirect movement of weed seeds is facilitated by the agricultural infrastructure, whether through contaminated feeds or manure, use of non-certified seed, or weed seeds carried on farm equipment transported or used across broad areas, a more regional or landscape approach to weed management may be an important innovation in traditional Midwestern row cropping environments.[3]"


"There is no clear answer as to which option--private action, state regulation or a hybrid model--is the most effective for encouraging the adoption of private CWMAs. However, the current uncoordinated practices by landowners and farmers demonstrate a need for a more nuanced and comprehensive framework to promote establishment of CWMAs in order to better manage invasive species and slow the rate of herbicide resistance."


I'd like to know a lot more about a CWMA before I signed up.  It looks like it's long on promises and outside interference and short on near term results and payback.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Cooperative Weed Management Areas

I'm afraid I don't have a good answer to your concerns.
What I do know is that there are weeds out west that have gotten completely out of control because no one worried about them until they were well established on their doorstep. Starthistle has consumed thousands of acres of rangeland in eastern Oregon and is now firmly established in Hells Canyon. This rangeland is now useless for grazing, and deer won't even enter it. Very nasty plant that could have been stopped with an early concerted effort. Just my 2 cents.
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