GRASS VALLEY, Calif. March 29, 2018 – Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is beginning a testing study to find less toxic methods for its program to keep weeds, grass and problematic vegetation at bay along its canals.

When vegetation restricts water flows, there can be many impacts, including reduced water quality, compromised deliveries to customers and added costs. In addition, impeded water flow can become a public health issue with increased algae blooms and a breeding ground for mosquitos.

During the testing, NID personnel will set up 48 10-by-15-foot plots along a canal, and use different methods to eliminate weeds and unwanted vegetation.

Each plot will be evaluated for plant species before chemical application. The changes will be noted at given intervals – at seven, 14, 28, 45 and 60 days – and then every two months up to one year.

The following organic herbicides and methods will be tested for effectiveness on vegetation:

• A.D.I.O.S. (WSG Sodium Chloride)
• Axxe (Ammonium Nonanoate)
• Avenger Concentrate (d-limonene)
• Weed-A-Way (Lemon grass and clove oil)
• Weed Zap (Clove and Cinnamon oil)
• Finalsan (Ammonium Soap)
• Suppress EC (Cupressic Acid)
• Opportune (Plant Extract)
• Marrone (Microbial Pesticide)
• Abrasion Tool (Mechanical)
• Steamer Unit (Mechanical)
• Control Plot

Additional methods will include using Puncture Vine Weevils and grazing goats along a berm section.

The testing is part of NID’s efforts to find ways to reduce the use of herbicides such as glyphosphate, which is sold under the trade name Roundup. In June of 2017, the Office Environmental Health Hazard Assessment ruled that glyphosphate would be added to California’s list of chemicals that can cause cancer.

Earlier this year, NID applied for a Management Research Grant Program through the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. As of this date, NID has not received official approval or denial its application.

“NID is putting boots on the ground. We are committed to this and will go ahead with or without grant funding,” said NID General Manager Rem Scherzinger. He added the District is pursuing partnerships and other options for ongoing vegetation management work in the future.