Retreatment of missed brush or resprouts is time-consuming and expensive. Missed brush can also mean site safety is compromised. That’s why consistent performance is a high priority for Dave Krause, vegetation management specialist at Arborchem Products, which provides integrated vegetation management (IVM) services across the United States.
Doing the job right the first time is key to keeping applicator expenses low and exceeding contract performance expectations. Krause says effective vegetation management takes a combination of chemical and mechanical control, and shifting maintenance efforts to more chemical control increases efficiency.
"Chemical control offers many performance, efficiency and safety advantages over mechanical-only methods such as cutting and mowing," says Krause." That’s why herbicides have taken an increasingly important role in IVM programs over the past two decades. Some newer herbicides are offering further advantages in selectivity, low use rate, multiple modes of action and soil residual activity to prevent new woody seedlings."
Maintaining a good public image for customers is an important part of a vegetation manager’s job. "We promote use of selective herbicides to minimize brownout on surrounding vegetation," says Krause. "Whether it’s spot treatment with backpack sprayers or spraying large sections of brush with a boom truck, a selective herbicide that controls brush while allowing non-target plants to stay green is a big benefit. It looks better and reduces maintenance expenses over time as healthy grass crowds out woody vegetation that is incompatible with electric utility infrastructure, highway safety and pipeline security."
Herbicides with low use rates and multiple modes of action improve productivity. "Dealing with ounces, not gallons, of herbicide saves time by reducing refill stops," says Krause. "Multiple modes of action in one product can eliminate mixing products in the field, which reduces the chance of waste and errors. It really improves efficiency when one product controls brush at the foliar and root levels, as well as provides soil residual activity that controls newly germinated brush seedlings." Krause has found those benefits when using DuPont™ Viewpoint® and Streamline® herbicides. He also appreciates the support he gets from DuPont.
"We like to show customers photos of treated rights of way compared to untreated areas. We can go back two or three years and see a big difference in treated areas," he adds. "Longer-term control reduces the need for resprays and saves our customers money.
"We emphasize the benefits of using branded products. Guaranteed active ingredient content and product support is a huge benefit. Performance is more consistent than with generic products, and product support from our DuPont rep is just a phone call away. With generic herbicides, you just don’t get that level of product support and technical expertise."