Effectively managing undesirable vegetation contributes to public safety, benefiting many industries and the economy. Non-native species such as invasive weeds impact bio-diversity and are costly to provinces and the federal government. At the same time, brush and unmanaged vegetation on roadsides and rights-of-ways can impact wildlife, public safety and the delivery of much needed services. Responsible vegetation management is critical in establishing safe work areas, complying with regulations, maintaining infrastructure and preserving agricultural and natural lands in Canada.
Vegetation management programs should be proactive and integrated, using several approaches to reach a final goal. Of the many options such as cutting, mowing, and biological control, herbicides play a role in helping to manage invasive plants, weeds, shrubs and trees in utility, roadside, forestry, railroad and bareground programs. Each site requires a unique vegetation management program, and solutions to address those challenges:
Keep the Power Running
Schools, hospitals and corporations trust their respective utility companies to prevent power outages. That’s why utility vegetation managers are critical in preventing service interruptions and being ready to restore power quickly if outages occur.
Trees and brush growing into power lines can cause electrical power outages and make utility line maintenance much more difficult and dangerous. In addition, areas around utility substations require a vegetation-free zone to prevent fire hazards and ensure the transfer of electricity. By keeping utility lines clear of overgrown vegetation, line maintenance can be easily conducted while providing reliable power to customers
Avoid Erosion, Flooding and Line-of-Sight Problems on Roadsides
Weeds and other vegetation like to make their home along roadsides. There are a number of reasons to control this roadside vegetation: motorist safety and line of sight, proper drainage of precipitation, road surface erosion, and preventing the spread of invasive species onto adjacent properties.
It is essential that vegetation does not block traffic signs or roadside markers. Because vegetation can obstruct driver vision at intersections or block the line of sight around curves, it must be treated and controlled. It is especially important that roadside delineators and traffic signs can be seen in poor conditions to ensure motorist safety. Excessive vegetation also can damage roadbeds by creating erosion, potholes, flooding due to improper road drainage off the surface and other hazards.
Managing Weeds and Brush to Enhance Railroad Safety
Safety and usability are essential for railroads. Heavy equipment moves at high speeds along the rails, and unchecked weeds and brush can reduce train traction during starts and stops. Weeds in the track ballast also hold water around railroad ties, which causes them to rot, increasing chances for derailment accidents. Sparks from the rails also can ignite weeds and brush growing too close to the tracks, which can create a fire hazard.
Brush that obstructs motorists' views at railroad crossings is especially dangerous. Controlling it can help avert car/train accidents.
Forestry Management Helps Improve Forest Health
Foresters control vegetation to improve forest health and maximize the amount of timber they can harvest, providing increased profitability per acre of land. Whether used in site prep or release treatments, herbicides also help decrease the amount of time it takes for a tree to reach harvestable sizes.
Safety on Industrial Sites
At oil and gas, and power and hydro facilities, keeping the ground bare is a matter of safety. Vegetation left unmanaged can create serious operational, safety and fire hazards. Other integrated methods such as mowing and hand pulling do play a role, but herbicides will offer more effective results, increasing the timelines between treatments and the need for onsite maintenance.
Dow AgroSciences LLC is an organization committed to enhancing the quality of life by developing innovative technology for responsible pest control, efficient production of an abundant, nutritious food supply and the use of renewable agriculture resources for improved commercial, industrial and personal care applications.
Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. is a research based, agricultural sciences company with a diverse product portfolio including weed, insect and disease management for agricultural/horticultural crops and products for forestry and industrial vegetation management. The company has also made significant investments in developing a plant genetics and biotechnology platform in canola and corn. This investment is focused on a range of research for the development of input production traits and value-added quality traits. Dow AgroSciences has established field research capabilities across western and eastern Canada including a plant breeding and cell biology group based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
With employees throughout Canada, the Dow AgroSciences head office is in Calgary, Alberta, with a regional office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. is an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences LLC, a $4.5-billion global company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dow AgroSciences LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.