Aquatic weed control Part 2

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin
Scott Anderson

Last week we covered the perimeter of controlling weeds in farm ponds. This week we will be specific aquatic weed control is based on proper weed ID and they fall into categories – algae, floating plants, submerged plants, and emergent plants.

Algae – the most common plant that I get calls on is filamentous algae. This is what most folks call “moss”. It floats on the surface of the water and is not rooted to the bottom. Filamentous algae are commonly controlled by using one of the copper-copper complex herbicides such as copper sulfate.

Floating plants – the more common aquatic plants are duckweed and water meal. Again, these plants float on the water surface and are not rooted. These plants usually do not cause too many problems in our area. The herbicides that control them are more advanced.

Submerged plants – this group of aquatic plants are the most difficult to control because they are totally under the water surface. The more common ones are niads, pondweeds, coontail, and parrot feather. The herbicides recommended for control of submerged plants are the most advanced and herbicide rates vary and are often based on total volume of water in the pond.

Emergent plants – these plants are rooted to the bottom of the pond but at least reach the surface of the water and many sticks up out of the water. The most common plant is cattails, others include buttonbush, sedges, rushes, waterlilies, and willows. Recommended herbicides are usually not as advanced however, proper spray coverage may be difficult.

There are a few aquatic herbicides that have restrictions on livestock watering and fishing after application. Many of these herbicides have restrictions on using the treated water for irrigation purposes.

Care should be taken when using aquatic herbicides to try to prevent oxygen depletion in the water due to decaying plants.

Always read herbicide labels before use.

PATH TO THE PLATE – PEANUTS

Path to the plate is newest effort by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to continue to inform Texans on not only the origins of the food we grow here but also what it takes to get it to your plate.

A snack for America’s favorite pastime. Tasty homemade candy and nut mixes. Or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich just the way you like it—a thick smear of peanut butter and the crusts cut off.

What do they all have in common? Peanuts.

But how do they get from the field to our table?

First, farmers plant the seeds after the danger of frost has passed. Parts of Texas are ideal peanut-growing areas because of the sandy soil and warm climate.

A peanut plant grows to be about 19 inches tall, and the growing season is relatively long—roughly 140-150 days.

About 40 days into the growing season, flower buds appear on the plant. A pod from the bud pushes itself underground to begin forming the peanut. Yup, peanuts are grown underground!

And each plant can produce around 40 pods.

When the peanuts are ready to harvest, a machine called a digger pulls up the peanut plant, flips it upside down and sets it back down. The plant is left in the field to dry. Then another machine, called a shaker or a picker, separates the peanut pods from the rest of the plant.

After harvest, farmers take their peanuts to be tested, cleaned and sold to buyers for various uses like peanut butter and peanut candy.

Those peanuts then make their way into our homes, most often in the form of peanut butter.

On average, Americans eat about three pounds of peanut butter. That’s about 700 million pounds!

One acre of peanuts will make about 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches. And the average child in America will eat 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time they graduate from high school. Now that’s a lot of PB&J!

Brown County usually grows up to 1000 acres of peanuts every year.

While peanut butter is the leading use of peanuts in the U.S., peanuts can also be found in peanut oil, candy, snacks and packaged peanuts.

Many of the top-selling confectionaries in the U.S. contain peanuts and peanut butter, mostly combined with chocolate.

Did you know Texas is one of the only states that grows organic peanuts and conventional peanut crops? You bet we do!

Texas is also the only state to grow all four varieties of peanuts—runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia. For more fun peanut facts, check out the Texas Peanut Producer Board.

And in typical Texas fashion, we’re one of the top peanut-producing states in the nation. We come in second behind Georgia.