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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Chemical Application Equipment & Methods
Project Researcher: Leon Wrage,
Project Manager: Dan Johnston
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Vegetation management on highway right-of-way has become an increasingly complicated undertaking in recent years with the advent of tighter regulations on herbicide usage and the need to decide what the appropriate herbicide and rate of application should be for a given condition. The Department currently uses herbicides for noxious weed control, maintenance of vegetation-free areas around signs, guard rail and other appurtenances (primarily to control snow drift potential), control of brush and growth retardation in areas where mowing is difficult for safety reasons. Maintenance personnel responsible for weed control are certified prior to being authorized to perform herbicide applications and are required by statute to be re-certified every other year. Unfortunately, the training involved in the certification process is insufficient with respect to creating an awareness of the environmental impact of herbicide application, the proper rates to use under a given set of circumstances, the need to minimize unnecessary spraying and the limitations for chemical use based on climate, water and soil conditions.

There is a need to develop a comprehensive training course on herbicide application which will address the issues of selection, application, equipment operation and safety. There is also a need to produce consistent guidelines for herbicide use and investigate whether or not particular herbicides should be used in certain areas based on percolation rates and residual activity.


Research Objectives:
1  To develop a vegetation management system, guidelines and training to reduce the risk of personal injury and environmental damage while increasing the efficiency of roadside vegetation control.

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
2  Develop an identification manual for identifying noxious weeds.
3  Draft a technical application guide for herbicides used in roadside vegetation control including specific herbicide selection, application rates, timing and restrictions for each type.
4  Explore the environmental concerns with soil and water due to misapplication.
5  Produce a training module on equipment calibration, operation and calculations of rates.
6  Provide an explanation of safe operation methods including equipment, chemical handling and awareness of spillage and emergency response procedures.
7  Conduct a pilot training course using appropriate materials developed through the research including the set of guidelines for proper herbicide applications previously developed.
8  Make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at conclusion of the project.

Documents Available:

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