To help control noxious weeds KNRD implements the following control methods: cultural, mechanical/physical, biological, and chemical. KNRD also conducts education and outreach activities and supports similar local activities all while maintaining close contact with neighboring states, Tribes, and counties to prevent the future spread of noxious weeds.
Cultural control consists mainly of using fire on the landscape to reduce or control noxious weeds. This prescribed use of fire enriches the soil and promotes fire tolerant plants. Burning is a cultural control method that can be less socially acceptable than it once was and the use of fire has been greatly reduced. The KNRD Forestry Program implements annual prescribed burning on tribally owned property with input from the wildlife program and others for prioritizing these efforts.
Mechanical/physical methods of control generally involve mowing of fields and road edges. Hand pulling weeds in some cases is done, but labor costs and area affected can limit benefits. Mowing reduces the plants ability to create food but does not remove or kill the plant. These control methods do nothing to address the living plants or their seed sources which can remain viable for up to 60 years depending on the species.
Biological control is the use of a living organism to reduce or eliminate noxious weeds. These organisms are usually insects like weevils, flies, and beetles brought into the United States to combat these plants without affecting native vegetation. Little is known about long term use of one type of introduced species to control another. Using non-native insects could have long lasting effects on other native species and more data is needed to support this type of method. Our use of biological control agents is very limited due to the annual flooding and hard winters.
Chemical Control is the most cost-effective method to address noxious weeds used by KNRD. KNRD only uses non-restricted use herbicides. These are the safest herbicides available. All application of chemical herbicides is performed by a licensed applicator. Chemicals used target plants only and disrupt the plants ability to make food or produce seed.
Controlling noxious weeds is expensive, no matter what technique is used. By blending the use all the tools in our Integrated Weed Management Program, KNRD is able to quickly address new infestations, control existing populations and educate the public to prevent future infestations.