Better Roads Staff
Working with a product that can give you vegetation management options allows flexibility in approaching the problems that spring up beside the road – an especially valuable asset in thin budget times. DuPont’s Perspective product, for example, has shown strong early results on leafy spurge and thistle, common on roadsides in the north, says Alford. But advantages in South Dakota may not always translate into the same advantages in the Southern states.
“For those areas, we’re going to be actively promoting a two-pass system, if you will,” Alford’s colleague Darin Sloan told Better Roads for the September 2011 Highway Contractor story (It Doesn’t’ Have To Be A Jungle Out There, Pgs. 10-15). “You start the season off with Perspective and keep the roadsides clean up until the beginning of summer, and then when you’ve got Johnsongrass and Dallisgrass and some of the undesirable grasses coming up, hit it with a Pastora treatment.
“From an herbicide application standpoint, that will pretty much be all you’ll need,” said Sloan, portfolio manager for the DuPont business area covering vegetation management. “You’ll probably have to come in and mow a couple of times in that summertime period, but from a weed control standpoint, you’ll be sitting pretty good.”
In the south, agencies additionally are able to make an application in the fall and have it carry through into the spring, says Alford. “That allows for a better division of the workload,” spreading out the utilization of equipment and man-hours over a wider window. “It allows folks to have a little bit more flexibility of when and how they want to manage some of these roadsides.” Or even if they can.
It comes down to having to make tough decisions, says Cole.
“Well, we did,” he says, “and that’s the reason why,” his department’s in the news now.
Green for green?
As a resident of Rapid City, as well as a chronicler of the South Dakota city’s business, reporter Emilie Rusch has empathy for the parks department’s financial squeeze. As the city has grown, she points out, it naturally has added parkland – which the department must take care of in the face of budget and staffing cuts. It’s the proverbial doing more with less.
“And, in South Dakota, whenever the State Department of Transportation plants those nice little gardens on an Interstate exit to beautify the on- or off-ramp, they always fall to the cities to take care of.”
Passing the buck? Difficult for us to say.
If only there were actually any extra bucks to pass – for either agency.
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