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This is the second year that the Towns of Tiffany and New Haven have sprayed the ditches to suppress the grass and weeds. If they spray, it eliminates one physical grass cutting.
At the New Haven June meeting, Trent said that 4 Control herbicide contains Plateau, Opensight and Escort and that there was a lot of information about the herbicides on the Chippewa Valley Invasive Species website. Town of Tiffany adds brush killer to the mix, containing Opensight, Escort and Garlon. All township’s have a right-of-way of 33 feet from the middle of the road. Tiffany sprays out the full width. New Haven will spray a narrower path if there is a crop planted within that 33 feet.
I found a website called the Lower Chippewa Invasives Partnership (LCIP) which is located in Menomonie. LCIP is a consortium of citizen volunteers who work to educate and control invasive plants within Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin and Pierce Counties.
Next I found a company called 4-Control which is a Menomonie based company; owners are Lee and Marion Shambeau. Ms. Shambeau replied to my email explaining that 4 Control is a spray mix for invasive weeds and is a plant growth regulator and that it contains Opensight (EPA # 62719-597), Escort (EPA# 432-1549), and Plateau (EPA# 241-365). Garlon 4 (EPA# 62719-527) is added to kill brush.
I don’t know much about these herbicides or the LCIP organization. My only concern is what effect these sprays may have on bees, butterflies and all other healthy bugs and worms. I don’t trust everything that is told to me as I remember a time when herbicide salesman said that Atrazine was perfectly safe and they would drink from a glass of it. Remember DDT. It took many years to learn differently. Over the last four decades, I have observed a major decline in the number of butterflies, bees, swallows, etc. Herbicides and insecticides can have an effect on certain creatures. I am not against spraying as long as the long-term effect has been thoroughly studied. I don’t have enough information to know if these herbicides are a 100% safe.