Roadside Weed Control Controversy


The weather continues to be erratic here in Southern Oregon.  Sometimes sunny and hot, last week two days were 90 or above. Other times it is cold. Monday and Tuesday this week were in the 30’s and 40’s with rain, hail, and snow flurries.  Supposedly it is not that unusual, but I don’t remember quite such fluctuations day to day.  All the spring trees and flowers are in bloom so they keep their schedule regardless.  Even the weeds are growing like mad.  Speaking of weeds, here is a discouraging story.

   The county just to our north had an uprising by people about 20 years ago over roadside spraying of herbicides to control weeds.  People were actually prostrate in the road in front of the spray trucks to halt the spraying.  The county listened to the people who were paying their salaries and stopped spraying for the weeds.  For the past 20 years only mechanical methods of weed control have been used.  Well the county has had a change of heart.

The county administrators want to start using glyphosate and 2-4-D to control the weeds and the explanation I heard for this was discouraging.  Supposedly it is costing the county $30,000 per summer to manually control the weeds.  Doing it with herbicides would cost only $2,000.  A spraying opponent explained that even though the county saved money on weed control by spraying, the costs were just passed on to someplace else.  Pesticides and herbicides are in our bodies, our water, in our food, and cost us in healthcare and environmental dollars.  Apparently the counties unofficial response to one individual was that passing the costs on to other areas was ok because it was the county roads budget they had to balance.  Short term thinking for sure!  Interestingly, it was not an opposition to all spraying that has caused this county problems, it was also their methods of application.  They use trucks with side booms to drive the roads dispensing the chemicals.  Apparently overspray and application on maintained roadside flowers was angering many people.  Some fought to stop the county from spraying, and then hand sprayed themselves to control the weeds.

Although there may be legitimate times when chemical means of control are all that will work, in a perfect world maybe herbicides would never be needed.  Unfortunately our world is not perfect but either is the logic used by this local county to justify turning away from mechanical means of control.

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Will Sig
1 wilson

Will, I’m always discouraged people using the pesticides killing weeds, as it bring more harmful effects to our body! In this case, the local county should find a more green way to control the weeds’ growing rate, instead of spraying the pesticides/herbicides!


2 Anna

What people will do to cut costs is unbelievable, and you are right the costs are passed on somewhere else, the cost of our health, for which they seem not to care. BTW we will be getting frost tonight, after nice sunny warm day, kind of crazy. Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..A Bit of Knowledge: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


3 Will

Hey Anna – I am sure you get frost much later than we do as you are so much further north. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember someone saying that you folks up there have a growing season that is very short. Is that correct? Do you get a lot of hot weather in the summer that allows your veggies to grow well even with late spring and early fall frosts?


4 Anna

Hey Will, I think we get good weather for gardening here, it can be rainy or hot, still we can grow nice tomatoes. The only problem is that we have wide range of temperatures over small area. I live more up north and it is evident sometimes, with more snow, and colder temperatures over summer, and sometimes this affects how things grow. But over all we have good growing season…Anna 🙂

Annas last blog post..A Bit of Knowledge: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


5 Gardening Enthusiast

There are many other weed control methods. Community awareness is the first step in preventing this from occurring.


6 William

If you all don’t bike to work, eat 100% vegan, have homes that are 100% powered by renewable resources, etc. I would be very disappointed.

Of course herbicides are in our bodies…so is the smog you breath every day when someone drives down your street.

Don’t forget that you more than likely drink municipal water…which was treated and still has trace amounts of all kinds of goodies.

Herbicides are modified salts…are they toxic? Sure…but so is just about everything else…I would much rather breath the fumes of herbicide than to have the tractors come through and rut up my ditchbank, kill wildlife inadvertantly and cost my fellow compatriots senseless amounts of money that could go back into our schools.

If you are going to cry foul…live your life exemplary from the onset.

Hypocrisy reigns supreme.


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