One of the main projects i had planned for this year was to spray brush. Truly had hoped to cover the entire farm, but there is just so much that between regular work and windy or rainy days – well, i did get quite a lot done actually and i’m pleased. My focus did switch to completely covering (spot spraying) the west 160 and that was accomplished by July 1. It is important to keep track of that date because three years from then, the farm can be used to grow certified organic crops. Weed and brush management from now on will have to be by brush hogging and intensive grazing. One of the ironies of ‘certified’ organic is that i can’t chemically treat individual plants even once for three years, but i could burn all the fossil fuel i want mowing them down. But rules are rules.
So to finish the project also means to clean up and put away the tools used. My 30 gallon spray tank and pump were purchased new at Orscheln’s this year and i hope to get several more years’ use out of it. Their brand name is Country Tuff and it has worked flawlessly all season. I did switch out the coiled hose for a straight one we already had – i just didn’t like the coiled one.
For the chemical, the easiest and most effective in my opinion is Crossbow. i buy it by the case (4 gallons) at a cost of $200.46 at Butterfield & Associates Grain in Meadville, MO. Mix half gallon to 30 gallons of water and you are ready to go. This spring and summer, I sprayed about 1200 gallons of mixed spray. That’s about 45 hours worth of spot spraying.
“Multiflora rose was originally introduced to the East Coast from Japan in 1886 as rootstock for cultivated roses. In the 1930s the U.S. Soil Conservation Service advocated use of multiflora rose in soil erosion control. Experimental plantings were conducted in Missouri and Illinois, and as recently as the late 1960s, many state conservation departments were distributing rooted cuttings to landowners. It was planted in the Midwest for living fences and soil conservation. Managers recognized that plantings of this thorny, bushy shrub provided excellent escape cover and a source of winter food for wildlife. The species soon spread and became a serious invader of agricultural lands, pastures, and natural communities from the Midwest to the East Coast.”
The trunk can be as wide as 8 inches diameter and the bush can exceed 15 feet. They are extremely hard to control and viciously difficult to handle because of the length of canes and that they are covered with thorns. Millions of dollars are spent in time in mechanical and chemical control of these government-introduced, non-native, invasive shrubs.