Sunday, January 21, 2018

Stillwater County has knowledgeable weed experts

Concerning Dr. O. Bourquin’s letter to the editor, Stillwater County News, dated June 18, 2015, I would like to clarify my understanding of the “Perspective” label.
First, it is very easy to know the names of the Stillwater County Commissioners - by accessing the Stillwater County website where all of our county officials are listed along with their contact information.
Second, we are very fortunate to have Will Patterson, Stillwater County Weed District Coordinator, on staff to help all of our landowners develop weed control programs for their land. Will Patterson is willing to share his education, depth of knowledge and experience in assisting all of us to apply herbicides correctly to prevent contamination of our environment and target specific noxious weeds on our land.
Stilwater County Weed District coordinators in cooperation with Lee Smelzer, MSU Extension Agent and Stillwater Valley Watershed Council have provided training workshops to learn how to read herbicide labels, weed and plant identification, correct mixing and application methods and adherence to personal protection equipment and withdrawal times for grazing and harvesting of forages. Learning to calibrate a backpack sprayer or ATV sprayer is very important in order to apply the correct amount of Herbicide according to the Product Label.
From the DuPont Perspective Herbicide Label:
Page 1. “Dry Flowable”
“For Non-Crop Use”
Page 2. Product Information “PERSPECTIVE® is……..
……..registered for general weed control on private, public and military lands as follows: uncultivated non-agricultural areas (such as airports, highway, railroad and utility rights-of-way, sewage disposal areas, etc.); uncultivated agricultural areas - non-crop producing (such as farmyards, fuel storage areas, fence rows, non-irrigation ditchbanks, barrier strips, etc.); industrial sites - outdoor (such as lumberyards, pipeline and tank farms, etc.) and natural areas (such as wildlife management areas, wildlife openings and wildlife habitats). PERSPECTIVE® may be used for the release or restoration of native perennial grasses and in established, industrial turf grasses.”
Page 3. “IMPORTANT RESTRICTIONS ……….
Item 14:
• Do not graze or feed forage, hay or straw from treated areas to livestock. “
It is important to read the entire Label in its total context. Because of the training opportunities as noted above I have known that “perspective herbicide” does not have a label approval for grazing pasture or range lands.
I think that ownership of land should require certification and annual continuing education as is the case with all other professional careers.
Land stewardship should involve training in plant identification, range management, animal husbandry, clean water and sustainable agriculture and pollution prevention and appropriate use and application of chemical herbicides and fertilizers.
The people who provide for their families in agriculture have paid their dues through years of labor on the family farm or ranch and obtained the knowledge through training or college education and continue to learn every day. Just having the wealth to allow ownership is not enough to protect the environment that we live in.

Raymond G. Lien, D.V.M.
Absarokee