Frequently Asked Questions

     

  1. What Is A Noxious Weed?
  2. Why Should I Care About Noxious Weeds?
  3. What Are The Some Of Challenges To Managing California's Noxious Weeds?
  4. What Is Integrated Weed Management And How Is It Related To Integrated Pest Management?
  5. What Is The Difference Between A Pesticide And A Herbicide?
  6. What Is Biological Control?
  7. What Is An Annual Operating Plan?
  8. What Is An Integrated Weed Management Plan?

What Is A Noxious Weed?

A weed is designated noxious when it is considered by a governmental agency to be injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property.  Some general characteristics of noxious weed are their ability to spread rapidly, reproduce in high numbers, and crowd out native plants.  Noxious weeds also tend to be very difficult to control.  The estimated annual loss of productivity caused by noxious weeds in sixty-four crops grown in the U.S. is $7.4 billion.

Noxious weeds can be annuals, completing their life cycle in one growing season, or perennials, having a life cycle spanning more than one growing season.  Most noxious weeds were originally from other countries.  Many arrived in shipments of desirable seeds, in the ballast of sailing ships, or were introduced intentionally as garden plants.  Noxious weeds thrive in disturbed areas like roadsides, building sites, maintenance areas, irrigation ditches, dirt parking areas, trails, and campgrounds.  Once noxious weeds gain a foothold, they can increase water and wind erosion, alter nutrient cycling, destroy wildlife habitat, reduce the usefulness of recreation areas, and decrease agricultural productivity.

Why Should I Care About Noxious Weeds?

Noxious weeds can have a direct impact on land value.  Land infested with noxious weeds often have restricted uses.  For example, pasture infested with yellow starthistle can not be used for horses.  If you own land infested by noxious weeds, you are responsible for controlling the weeds on your property.  The larger the infestation, the higher the cost to you for yearly treatments and the longer it will take to eradicate the infestation.  Also, the estimated annual loss of productivity caused by noxious weeds in sixty-four crops grown in the U.S. is $7.4 billion.  This loss in productivity affects the cost of food you purchase in the grocery store.  This cost is often passed on to you, the taxpayer.  Noxious weeds are also responsible for depredating California's wildlands.  Lands infested with noxious weeds have higher erosion potentials, lower habitat values for native animal species, crowd out native plant species, and impact recreational opportunities by infesting campsites.

What Are Some Of The Challenges To Managing California's Noxious Weeds?

There are many challenges to managing noxious weeds.  Noxious weeds are by definition difficult to control.  They are often resistant to mechanical and cultural practices and existing herbicides.  But there are several other barriers to effective weed control.  There is often a lack of public awareness of the extent and seriousness of the weed problem that leads to limited public and legislative support and involvement in combating weeds.  This limited support leads to a lack of effective partnerships for pooling of resources and insufficient human and fiscal resources. With insufficient resources, weed control efforts are often spotty and lack planning and monitoring for effectiveness.

What Is Integrated Weed Management And How Is It Related To Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated Weed Management (IWM) is the use of all available and feasible weed control techniques in an organized, coordinated, and mutually supportive manner. Major components of Integrated Weed Management include education, plant inventories and surveys, prioritization of weed problems, review of all available weed control techniques for each weed problem, selection and integration of effective control techniques, monitoring control effectiveness, and evaluation and modification of control techniques as necessary. Weed control techniques used in IWM are often categorized as mechanical such as hand pulling, cultural such as tillage, domestic animal such as controlled grazing, chemical, and biological.  Integrated Weed Management the subset of Integrated Pest Management specific to weed control.

What Is The Difference Between A Pesticide And A Herbicide?

Pesticide means, but is not limited to, any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate and insect, rodent, nematode, snail, slug, fungus, weed, and any other form of plant or animal life or virus, except virus or fungus on or in living man or other animal, which is normally considered to be a pest and any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant, and any spray adjuvant.  A herbicide is a pesticide targeted at plants.

What Is Biological Control?

Biological control is the deliberate introduction or manipulation of a weed natural enemies with the goal of suppressing a weed population.  A biological control agent can be an insect, a fungi, a nematode, or any other organism that retards the weed growth and/or reproduction.  Most biological control agents are imported from the weed country of origin.  Biological control agents never completely eradicate a weed from an area but can keep a weed population below economic impact levels.

What Is An Annual Operating Plan?

An Annual Operating Plan (AOP) is a list and description of projects and goals to be completed within a given year.  An AOP will also include a brief summary of the project, County, or CWMA background, long term goals, project prioritization scheme, and location.

What Is An Integrated Weed Management Plan?

An Integrated Weed Management Plan (IWMP) is analogous to a Strategic Plan.  It outlines the basic characteristics of a County or Cooperative Weed Management Area.  An IWMP often includes a description of the area, a summary of past and current weed control efforts in the area, maps and location information of weed infestations, a description of how weed control efforts are to be prioritized, and an outline, description, and general timeline for long term goals of the area.  An IWMP will also include the cooperative agreement statements of all parties involved.