- Author: Chris McDonald
Ho Ho Holy Cow its going to be cold (in other parts of the country) this holiday break.
Winter and the New Year are great times to think about preventing weed management problems. With the onset of winter rains in many parts of California, weeds have emerged on roadsides, wildlands and the edges of fields. Its a good time to monitor what has emerged and decide if those weeds will need to be treated soon.
Preventing weeds also requires preventing the breakdown of application equipment. We can’t prevent every malfunction, but keeping equipment in good working condition is a good practice. Winter is an excellent time to winterize equipment (as the name suggests) and to also repair any pieces of equipment that have been slowly wearing down (rubber seals, old hoses, etc.). As the temperatures warm up in a few months weeds will be at their worst, growing fast and trying to produce seed. It is in the busy spring season that equipment needs to be at peak performance.
For a few tips and tricks on winterizing equipment I point you to publications from areas where winter is white and cold. The basics are pretty easy, and get complicated when your equipment gets complicated.
One article is from TechLine, found here: http://techlinenews.com/articles/2012/12/30/cleaning-and-winterizing-herbicide-sprayers
or here: http://www.co.laplata.co.us/sites/default/files/departments/weed/documents/education/cleaning-winterizingherbsprayers.pdf
The other is from Montana Cooperative Extension: http://www.pesticides.montana.edu/news/Bulletins/MontanaIPMBulletinFall11.pdf
Follow all local, state and federal regulations regarding disposal of rinsate and chemicals. Wear all applicable PPE when appropriate and follow all directions on the pesticide label and local county agricultural commissioner when appropriate.