Weed Control in Arid Southwest

by James W. Kirby, (F.ASCE), Proj. Superintendent; Rio Grande Proj., Bureau of Reclamation, El Paso, TX,
A. Darrell Summers, (A.M.ASCE), Field Engineer; Rio Grande Proj., Bureau of Reclamation, El Paso, TX,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 4, Pg. 571-583

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Rio Grande Project, New Mexico-Texas, maintaining over 1,000 miles of waterways, has found that a weed program of its size must utilize many methods of control and presently operates under a program which includes mechanical methods, burning and spraying operations of about equal magnitude. Specific problems involved are right-of-way encroachments, air and stream pollution, crop and crop land contamination, public endorsement, odors, and safety. General weed infestations include johnsongrass and curly dock in the distribution system with salt cedar and willow in the drainage system and reservoir areas. Basically, weed control in the distribution systems is accomplished with rotary mowers, propane burners and application of nonselective herbicides. Control of weeds in the drainage system is done with brush cutters, dragline and application of selective herbicides. Phreatophytes in reservoir areas and flood plains are maintained with rotary mowers, brush cutters and application of selective herbicides.

Subject Headings: Drainage systems | Air pollution | Soil pollution | Pesticides | Vegetation | Arid lands | Crops | Reservoirs | Rio Grande

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