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Bossier (la.) City Public Works uses BASF's Plateau herbicide in its roadside vegetation management program, reducing the number of required mows per year. Photo: BASF

Every year the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association (NRVMA) recognizes a city, parish/county, and state for demonstrating best practices and innovative management of roadside vegetation. All 2004 NRVMA award winners included Plateau herbicide (manufactured by BASF, Ludwigshafen, Germany) in their vegetation management programs.

Award recipient Gary Neathery, director of Bossier City Public Works, Bossier, La., said, “My team and I have worked very hard for the last decade to ensure our roadsides are not only nice to look at, but also are kept safe for drivers and free of unwanted weeds.”

Bossier's award-winning program is used on 1600 acres of roadsides in and around the city. Using herbicides to achieve seedhead suppression and bermudagrass release, Neathery and his team expanded their program from roadsides to include drainage, parks, recreation areas, and vacant property.

Baton Rouge Parish Public Works also gained recognition. Vegetation control manager Billy Thompson said that water drainage, erosion control, and driver visibility are of concern when strategizing a vegetation management plan. “The department implemented an integrated vegetation management plan that includes a combination of routine mowing and herbicide applications, reducing the number of mows to no more than five times per year on some roads,” he said.

At the Mississippi DOT, crews “work very hard to see that our roadsides are beautiful, but we also want to increase the safety of drivers on Mississippi roads,” said Johnnie Thorne, District 5 manager. “By applying management techniques we are able to clear invasive weeds from roadsides to aid in water drainage, erosion control, and driver visibility.” He and his team decreased the number of mows on roads, saved more than $25 per acre, and increased roadway safety.

For more information, visit www.nrvma.org.