Webster County was one of the first few counties in the state of Iowa to start in Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Program (IRVM). The program started in 1993 and has shown tremendous benefits. The primary goal of the program is to use an integrated approach in controlling weeds, stabilizing soil, and establishing native vegetation back into Iowa's roadsides.
This is accomplished by planting native vegetation in new construction projects, such as bridges, roads, and culverts. The native grasses and flowers being planted have extensive root systems that grow deep into the soil; this reduces water runoff and helps to filter out the contaminants in our ground water. Some of these plants can develop a root system that can reach depths of 30 feet!
The IRVM program also can assist landowners in Conservation Reserve Programs whether it be native prairies or windbreaks. The IRVM department has various types of equipment that can be rented or we can do the work for you.
If you are interested in planting some wildflowers or would like more information on the IRVM Program, contact The Webster County Conservation Board at 515-576-4258. Click here to view A Landowner’s Guide to Roadside Management.
|Equipment Available for Rent|
|Custom Seeding CRP Drill||$ 50 / Acre - $150 min.|
|Custom Seeding CRP Vicon||$ 30 / Acre - $100 min.|
|Drill Rental (land owner does seeding)||$ 25 / Acre|
|Vicon Broadcast Seeder||$ 10 / Acre|
|Culti-packer||$ 5 / Acre|
|Tree Planting - Potted tree||$ 5 / Tree|
|Bare root||$ 0.25 / Tree|
|Tree Planter (land owner does planting)||$ 50 / Day|
|Tree Planting Bar||free|
One half mile east of the junction of highway 169 and county road D14 is a triangular area showing native grasses and flowers used as vegetative types of the roadside management program. Several species of grasses such as big and little bluestem, Indian grass, switch-grass, and side oats gramma have been planted as well as black-eyed susan, prairie clovers, and several kinds of coneflowers. Patience is one of the key ingredients to a successful prairie restoration. As these plants develop and spread they will create a diversified mixture for wildlife habitat and add beauty to the landscape.
Management for Native VegetationControlled Burning - this is probably the best option for managing native plantings. Once the vegetation
has been burnt it all has to regenerate which gives the native plants a head start and allows them to out compete invasive species.
Mowing - this is usually done to early plantings that aren’t established enough to run a hot fire through. Mowing can help with weed control by not letting the weeds reach maturity. It is also helpful to decrease snow drifting and works well as a fire break
Spraying - this method of vegetation management uses herbicides to selectively kill certain weeds such as Canada thistle and giant ragweed. Timing is very important when spraying because different plants are more susceptible to the herbicides at various stages in their life cycle. This can be a very expensive type of management practice.
Brush Control Along the RoadsidesThere are a couple of ways to control unwanted brush along roadsides and in fence lines. A foliar herbicide can be used that is sprayed onto the plant that will kill it and then can be cut down. The other method is to cut the brush first and then treat the stump with a herbicide, this method is called a cut-stump treatment.