December 2014: HOW You Spray Matters: Innovative Application Methods for Improved Phragmites Control

Non-native Phragmites australis control is expensive and time consuming, typically requiring multiple site visits and follow-up treatments to achieve acceptable levels of control; eradication is rarely achieved. Improvements in field capacity of the applicator and/or efficacy of the application will help stretch limited resources and expand the number of successfully treated acres. We conducted a national survey on the activities and needs of practitioners involved in Phragmites control and used the survey results to guide evaluations of 3 novel application technologies. All three used concentrated application of glyphosate herbicide, and 1 was also evaluated using a concentrated application of glyphosate/imazapyr mix. The technologies were compared to a typical dilute application of glyphosate broadcast with a handgun/high pressure pump combination. Canopy deposition, drip, drift, drift impact, immediate efficacy, and 1 year efficacy were measured, and qualitative assessments of impacts to non-target plant species and changes in community composition were made.

For this webinar we will discuss insights from the survey, the technologies used including their strengths and weaknesses, and data collection methods. We will present example case studies showing before, immediate-after, and 1-year after site photos, and discuss efficacy and impacts on species composition and diversity among the Phragmites treatments. The webinar will conclude with efficacy comparisons of the treatments and corresponding improvements in field capacity in relation to use of dilute broadcast sprays. Measurements of losses to the ground by herbicide drip will also be presented. Due to time limitations, detailed discussion of drift and in-canopy deposition will be presented at The Stewardship Network Conference in January 2015, along with a more in-depth exploration of the application methodologies.

Join Mark Ledebuhr, Application Insight, LLC; Phyllis Higman, Senior Conservation Scientist and Botanist, Michigan Natural Features Inventory; and Lisa Brush, The Stewardship Network as they present on this important stewardship topic!

Mark Ledebuhr - Application Insight, LLC.Mark's career focuses on developing and optimizing spray application systems, and improving methods for evaluation of spray application. Trained as a wildlife biologist at MSU, he then co-founded and built an MSU technology-spinoff company focused on hardware to improve the application of pesticides, increasing performance and reducing environmental impacts. After 15 years, he left and re-focused on improving methodologies and analytics. His current research includes: optimization of application technologies for invasive species control, improvement of spray educational tools, development of high-resolution droplet stain analysis methodologies, adaptation of ultra-low volume (ULV) technologies for vector control, and precision perimeter spray technologies for vineyards. Mark chairs subcommittee MS-23/6/1(liquid applications) at American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, participates in American Society of Testing and Materials and the International Standards Organization (ISO) Subcommittee TC23/SC6,(liquid materials application). In his spare time he enjoys work as the Stewardship Chairperson at Fenner Conservancy in Lansing, Michigan.

Phyllis Higman - Michigan Natural Features Inventory. Phyllis Higman is a Senior Conservation Scientist and Botanist with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory with over 20 years of field-based experience studying Michigan's native ecological communities and rare and declining species. Phyllis coordinates educational events focused on biodiversity conservation and emerging conservation issues, delivering interdisciplinary field-based workshops and symposia to a wide array of audiences. She has studied invasive plants since 2003, resulting in the development of two field guides to Michigan's terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic invasive plants and a strategic plan to address their impacts. Phyllis is currently working with partners to aggregate invasive species distribution data through the Midwest Invasive Species Information System (MISIN), improve treatment approaches and techniques, and expand capacity for strategic rapid response and prioritized long-term control efforts statewide.

Lisa Brush - Executive Director, The Stewardship Network. Lisa has been leading collaborative conservation initiatives in the nonprofit environmental sector for over two decades. In her role as co-founder and Executive Director of The Stewardship Network she has engaged thousands of professionals and volunteers in identifying community and conservation needs of the 21st century and determining strategic support The Network can provide. She has managed and overseen grant projects from federal and state agencies, as well as family and private foundations. She has been involved in all aspects of organizational management including foundation/agency relationships, grant based project funding, budget tracking, contract negotiation, implementation, accountability, project reporting and staff and board development. Lisa has facilitated strategic planning sessions, focus groups, citizen task forces, community visioning sessions, and public involvement and feedback meetings with groups ranging in size from four to four hundred. Lisa emphasizes tried and true in-person methods of bringing people together augmented by the use of cutting edge online technology. Lisa serves on numerous boards of directors, has a BA in Science in Society from Wesleyan University, an MS from University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a graduate of Michigan State University's Great Lakes Leadership Academy. Follow The Stewardship Network on Twitter @StewardshipNet.

Webcast Date: 
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 12:00pm
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