Noxious weeds on your property: what is your responsibility?

Source: Ellen Essman, OSU

Despite the fact that “pumpkin spice” everything is back in stores, it is still summer, and if you’re anything like me, you’re still dealing with weeds. In fact, we have been receiving many questions about noxious weeds lately.  This blog post is meant to be a refresher about what you should do if noxious weeds sprout up on your property.

What are noxious weeds?

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is in charge of designating “prohibited noxious weeds.”  The list may change from time to time, but currently, noxious weeds include:

  • Shatter cane (Sorghum bicolor)
  •  Russian thistle (Salsola Kali var. tenuifolia).
  • Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense ).
  •  Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa).
  • Grapevines (Vitis spp.), when growing in groups of one hundred or more and not pruned, sprayed, cultivated, or otherwise maintained for two consecutive years.
  • Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense ).
  • Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum).
  •  Cressleaf groundsel (Senecio glabellus).
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans).
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).
  • Mile-A-Minute Weed (Polygonum perfoliatum).
  • Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).
  • Apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes).
  • Marestail (Conyza canadensis)
  • Kochia (Bassia scoparia).
  • Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri).
  • Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata).
  • Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).
  • Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureasculata), when the plant has spread from its original premise of planting and is not being maintained.
  • Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis).
  • Heart-podded hoary cress (Lepidium draba sub. draba).
  • Hairy whitetop or ballcress Lepidium appelianum).
  • Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis).
  • Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens).
  • Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula).
  • Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium).
  • Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma).
  • Columbus grass (Sorghum x almum).
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans).
  • Forage Kochia (Bassia prostrata).
  • Water Hemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus).

The list of noxious weeds can be found in the Ohio Administrative Code section 901:5-37-01. In addition to this list, Ohio State has a guidebook that will help you identify noxious weeds in Ohio, which is available here.  It may be helpful to familiarize yourself with the weeds in the book, so you can be on the lookout for noxious weeds on your property.

When am I responsible for noxious weeds?

The Ohio Revised Code addresses noxious weeds in different parts of the code. When it comes to noxious weeds on the property of private individuals, there are two scenarios that may apply: noxious weeds on private property, and noxious weeds in line fence rows.

Noxious weeds on your property

If your property is located outside of a municipality, a neighbor or another member of the public can inform the township trustees in writing that there are noxious weeds on your property. If this happens, the township trustees must then turn around and notify you about the existence of noxious weeds. After receiving a letter from the trustees, you must either destroy the weeds or show the township trustees why there is no need for doing so. If you do not take one of these actions within five days of the trustees’ notice, the township trustees must cause the weeds to be cut or destroyed, and the county auditor will assess the costs for destroying the weeds against your real property taxes.  If your land is in a municipality, similar laws apply, but you would be dealing with the legislative authority, like the city council, instead of township trustees.

What if you rent out your land out to be farmed or otherwise?  Are you responsible for noxious weeds on your property in that situation?  The answer is probably.  The law states that the board of township trustees “shall notify the owner, lessee, agent, or tenant having charge of the land” that they have received information about noxious weeds on the property (emphasis added).  Furthermore, the law says that the “person notified” shall cut or destroy the weeds (or have them cut or destroyed).  In all likelihood, if you own the land, you are going to be the person who is notified by the trustees about the presence of weeds.  If you rent out your property to be farmed or otherwise, you may want to include who is responsible for noxious weeds in the language of the lease.

Noxious weeds in the fence row

The “line fence law” or “partition fence law” in Ohio requires landowners in unincorporated areas to cut all noxious weeds, brush, briers and thistles within four feet and in the corners of a line fence. A line fence (or partition fence) is a fence that is on the boundary line between two properties. If you fail to keep your side of the fence row clear of noxious weeds and other vegetation, Ohio law provides a route for adjacent landowners concerned about the weeds. First, an adjacent landowner must request that you clear the fence row of weeds and must allow you ten days to do so. If the weeds still remain after ten days, the complaining landowner may notify the township trustees of the situation. Then, the township trustees must view the property and determine whether there is sufficient reason to remove weeds and vegetation from the fence row. If they determine that the weeds should be removed, the township trustees may hire someone to clear the fence row.  Once again, if this occurs, the county auditor will assess the costs of destruction on your property taxes.

Being aware of noxious weeds is key. 

As a landowner, it is really important for you to keep an eye out for noxious weeds on your property.  If you keep on top of the weeds, cutting them or otherwise destroying them as they grow, it will certainly make your life a lot easier. You will avoid awkward conversations with neighbors, letters from your township trustees, and extra charges on your property taxes. Additionally, you will help to prevent the harm that noxious weeds may cause to crops, livestock, and ecosystems in general.

To learn more about Ohio’s noxious weed laws, you can access our law bulletin on the subject here.  While the bulletin addresses the responsibilities of landowners, it also goes beyond the scope of this blog post, addressing weeds on roadways, railroads, and public lands, as well as how to respond if your neighbor has noxious weeds on their property.  Additionally, the bulletin has a helpful section of “frequently asked questions” regarding noxious weeds.

Noxious weeds on your property: what is your responsibility?

Written by Ellen Essman

Despite the fact that “pumpkin spice” everything is back in stores, it is still summer, and if you’re anything like me, you’re still dealing with weeds. In fact, we have been receiving many questions about noxious weeds lately.  This blog post is meant to be a refresher about what you should do if noxious weeds sprout up on your property.

Continue reading

Late-Season Waterhemp – The Goal is Stopping Seed

Source: Mark Loux, OSU

I am seeing an increase in both waterhemp and palmer amaranth in Knox County this year.  These can be devestating weeds and if not properly managed, can increase your herbicide costs dramatically.  Make sure you are scouting for these weeds now!

In our windshield scouting of soybeans this year we have seen a lot of weedfree fields.  This makes sense given the shift toward Xtend, LibertyLink, LLGT27, and Enlist soybeans over the past several years, which provides us with effective POST options for our major weed problems – common and giant ragweed, marestail, and waterhemp (now if we could just get rid of the baggage some of these traits carry).  We are however getting many reports of late-season waterhemp as it grows through the soybeans and becomes evident.  This also makes sense given that statewide we are in the midst of an overall increase in waterhemp, and continue to move up the curve in terms of number of fields infested and the size of the infestations.  Prevention and management of waterhemp and Palmer amaranth has been one of the primary goals of our state and county educational programs for half a decade or more.  And one of the most important points about waterhemp and Palmer that we try to get across is their capacity for prodigious seed production – 500,000 to upwards of a million seeds per plant – and what this means for their ability to rapidly ramp up populations, infest equipment, etc.

The bottom line here is that it’s essential to scout fields this time of the season and kill or remove plants that could produce seed.  Allowing even a few plants to produce seed means an increased population for the next year or two at least.  Running harvest equipment through plants loaded with seed is a primary mechanism of spread from field to field.  Plants can survive into late season because they emerged after herbicide treatments, or survived an improperly timed and less than effective POST treatment.  These plants should produce less seed than plants allowed to grow full season without interruption.  It’s also possible given waterhemp’s propensity to become resistant to any herbicide used against it, that the survivors are resistant to whatever POST herbicide was used.  Resistance to glyphosate, ALS, and PPO inhibitors is widespread in Ohio, and we expect the development of resistance to dicamba, 2,4-D, and glufosinate will occur given their intensity of use (which is why the current period of clean fields makes us nervous).  The only way to ensure that resistance does not develop is to follow herbicide programs with later season scouting and removal of plants to prevent seed.

The most effective way to prevent seed is to cut off waterhemp or Palmer plants just below soil line, remove plants from the field, and burn or compost or bury deep enough.  Plants left in the field can reroot at multiple nodes and regrow.  Another option to at least reduce seed production – use a weedeater to cut the tops of plants off.  Once plants develop mature seed (hard brown or black), most effective strategy may be to cut off and bag up seedheads and remove from field.  The value of herbicides this late in the season is questionable.  PPO herbicides are the only legal option at this point, with following restrictions (DBH = days before harvest; from Table 18 of Weed Control Guide):  Cobra/Phoenix – 45 DBH; fomesafen – 45 DBH; Ultra Blazer – 45 DBH.  Carryover and injury to corn from late-season applications of fomesafen is possible.  None of these herbicides are likely to kill large waterhemp plants although they may reduce suppress smaller plants enough to reduce seed.  Keep in mind that PPO inhibitors would be completely ineffective in waterhemp populations that are resistant to PPO inhibitors.

We suggest taking some time from now into September to scout fields for waterhemp and Palmer amaranth with the goal of preventing seed.  If you are lucky enough to have avoided waterhemp, use scouting to maintain this status and prevent new infestations.  If you are currently managing waterhemp infestations, consider late-season removal of plants as an important component of that management plan, and critical to maintaining POST herbicide utility.  Scouting should include local roadsides and waterways, and areas of fields subject to flooding or near migratory bird or deer paths.  Since combines are an effective dispersal mechanism, check the part of fields first harvested where combines are started up.  If you need to harvest fields with waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, harvest these last followed by thorough cleaning of combines, grain carts, semis, etc.  These efforts can go a long way toward avoiding future headaches and increased production costs.

Continue reading

Ohio Noxious Weed Law

Its that time of year when some of our ugly weeds begin to make their presence known by rising above crop canopies, appearing along the side of the road, etc.  I typically receive many questions about noxious weed identification, control, legal issues, and more.  Below is the first page of the OSU Law Bulletin on Noxious weeds.  Click here to download the complete bulletin.

Do Not Plant These Seeds!!!

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has been notified that several Ohio residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them. Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days.

If you receive a package of this type, please DO NOT plant these seeds. If they are in sealed packaging, don’t open the sealed package. Please retain the seeds and the original package labeling for trade compliance officers as they work through this issue. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production. ODA and APHIS work hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Ohio agriculture. All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet important requirements.

Distribution of Waterhemp and Palmer Amaranth in Ohio

Source: Dr. Mark Loux

The maps that accompany this article show our current knowledge of waterhemp and Palmer amaranth distribution in Ohio.  These are based on information from a survey of OSU Extension County Educators, along with information we had from samples submitted, direct contacts, etc.  We still consider any new introductions of Palmer amaranth to be from an external source (brought in from outside Ohio) – hay or feed, infested equipment, CRP/cover/wildlife seedings.  Palmer is not really spreading around the state, and as the map shows, we have had a number of introductions that were immediately remediated.  The number of counties where an infestation(s) is being managed is still low, and within those counties, the outbreak occurs in only a few fields still.  Waterhemp is much more widespread in Ohio and is spreading rapidly within the state from existing infestations to new areas via equipment, water, animals, etc.  We do not have Ag Educators in all counties, and even where we do, infestations can occur without us knowing about them.  Feel free to contact us with new information to update the maps.

Among the weed photos sent to the Agronomy Team members for identification, a fair number lately has been for the purposes of “pigweed” identification.  “Pigweed” as used here can refer to waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, spiny amaranth, Powell amaranth, and redroot/smooth pigweed (these two are mostly the same for ID/control purposes).  It’s almost impossible to tell these apart when they are very small, but this gets easier by the time they are 4 inches tall.  Waterhemp and Smooth/redroot pigweed are still the most common.  Waterhemp is smooth all over with a somewhat elongated leaf with smooth edges, and leaves sometimes can be a darker and glossier green than pigweed.  Smooth/redroot pigweed will have a hairy/rough stem (more defined as it gets larger), with relatively nonglossy leaves that are widest in the middle with “rougher” edges.  Various resources are available to help with identification, including our pigweed ID fact sheet and Youtube video.  Identification of pigweeds is not necessarily straight forward, so feel free to contact your local extension educator or OSU weed scientists (loux.1@osu.edu or ackley.19@osu.edu) for help with identification.

Poison Hemlock is Blooming

 

Originally Posted OSU BEEF Newsletter

– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Noble County, OSU Extension

 

Poison hemlock is up and actively growing right this minute. It is already prevalent on roadsides in Noble County. If you stand next to poison hemlock it will feel like you are in that scene from “Alice in Wonderland” where the flowers are giant, and she is tiny. It looks like Queen Anne’s Lace, but much larger. It blooms earlier and it is has distinct purple spots on the stem.

Control with a broadleaf killer like 2,4-D doesn’t eliminate ALL the competition for next generation hemlock plants.

Continue reading

Poison Hemlock and Wild Parsnip are Blooming in Southern Ohio

 

Originally posted on Buckeye Yard and Garden Online

By Joe Boggs- June 3, 2020

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) and wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) are two of our nastiest non-native weeds found in Ohio.  Poison hemlock is one of the deadliest plants in North America.  Wild parsnip can produce severe, painful blistering.  Both are commonly found growing together.

Poison hemlock and wild parsnip are members of the carrot family, Apiaceae.  The old name for the family was Umbelliferae which refers to the umbel flowers.  They are a key family feature with short flower stalks rising from a common point like the ribs on an umbrella.

Continue reading