County Available To Assist With Noxious Weed Problem
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2018
ELKTON, MD. -- What can grow to be ten feet tall, as wide around as a soda can and can re-root itself? The seemingly indestructible Palmer Amaranth, of course. And, with the amount of rain we’ve experienced this spring, they are multiplying at an incredible rate.
Noxious weeds threaten the productive land of farmers and can cause unsightly and unwanted problems in the lawns and gardens of homeowners. Ron Penhollow, Cecil County's Weed Control Coordinator, is prepared to tackle these destructive monsters.
But Palmer, which needs to be pulled and bagged to prevent seed dispersal, isn't the only force in the field. According to the Agriculture Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Thistles, Johnsongrass and Shatter Cane, also known as Wild Cane, have been deemed noxious weeds and are required to be controlled by the county. The state code also defines Rosa Multiflora, or multiflora rose, as a nuisance on land used for agricultural production.
"Noxious and invasive weeds are everyone’s concern. The problem is big and getting bigger," explained Penhollow. "This year the Thistle is overrunning a lot of areas and I haven’t even made it out of the southern end of the county yet."
State law requires anyone owning or managing land within the State of Maryland, including public entities, to eradicate or control these noxious weeds on that land. Mowing, cultivating or treating with an approved herbicide are practices that have been approved by the state.
As a service to County residents, the Cecil County Department of Public Works (DPW), in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, operates the weed control program to assist farmers, developers, right-of-way owners, federal, state, and local agencies and other landowners in controlling noxious weeds and certain other invasive species such as phragmites.
"The farmers are doing good-to-great jobs in their efforts, but need to stay on top of them. The rest of us need to be vigilant," stressed Penhollow. "Treat or mow your properties that may have these weeds growing, report sightings on roadsides so I can get to them. Most of all we have to work together, it’s the only way we will be able to keep these weeds in check."
Penhollow, a one-man crew who covers weed control for the entire county, explained that a significant problem he faces is tackling weeds in large fields. "The fields are not owned by county residents, but are leased out, so they are not being watched by the owners who are responsible."
The County weed control program, managed by the Roads Division, provides spot and boom spraying of approved herbicides on a fee-for-service basis.
Landowners who opt to utilize the County’s weed control services are billed an hourly rate for labor plus the cost of the herbicides used. Failure to pay for services rendered can result in a lien being placed against the property by the County Finance Department.
- Farm Land: $55 per hour
- Non-Farm Land: $100 per hour
- CRP/CREP Sites: $125 per hour
- Aquatic Weeds: $150 per hour
- Invasive Specie: $100 per hour
- Helper: $25 per hour
- Minimum Charge: $100
Public Information Officer