If you've been reading the SFTR Website regularly, you're well aware of the challenging problem the state of Colorado faces with a close to out-of-control population of noxious weeds.
Owning property in Colorado and knowing about the weed problem does not mean that taking care of the problem on your property is an easy task.
One of the frustrations you may be facing with this situation is that you hadn't bargained nor planned for it when you purchased your SFTR property. Nonetheless, the problem is here and is very real and threatens to become an unmanageable dilemma.
At this point, the hardy new strains of noxious weeds are still controllable, but they must be sprayed or dug out and destroyed immediately or they will take over our beautiful ranch and state.
Bill Wenstrom, Carol Rawle, and Joyce Wolff have been writing very helpful articles about what the ranch is doing to control these weeds and what individual property owners can do to take care of the weeds on their own land. If you live on the ranch or plan to be here for an extended period of time soon, you will probably take advantage of the sprayers and herbicide available through Mr. Wenstrom. (Click Here for more information.)
If you can't come and take care of your land, your only recourse may be to hire a local professional to take care of the problem for you. The following commercial sprayers are interested in helping the Santa Fe Trail Ranch and can be contacted by individual property owners to arrange a thorough spraying of land.
1021 S. Main
Hasty, CO 81044
|$50/hr. + herbicide "Tardon 22K"|
|Mark Henry, works for CDOT, State coordinator for Aurora, part of state team that developed the weed control program.||$75-100 per mile, labor and herbicide|
Appleseed Weed Control
|Call for quote based on individual site|
$45 per acre
$90 per mile
$60 – 75 per hour + herbicide
Soil Conservation Service (SCS), now officially called Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS): Las Animas County office: Ken Lutz, Trinidad, 719-846-3681
Private property owners can rent sprayers from:
|SFTR POA. Property owners can use free-of-charge. Click Here for more information.||15gallon, ATV-mountable. Will soon have 2 additional 25gallon models that are ATV tow-behinds mounted on wheels. Will be good for roadsides and meadows but not rough terrain.|
|Bob Lucero, Las Animas County Planner||Sized to fit on a 4-wheeler|
|Conservation District, Tom Miller in Hoehne 719-846-3027||200 gallon tank; ¾ ton truck needed|
In researching the noxious weed problem in Colorado, I talked extensively with Bill Yates who sprayed our ranch last year. Mr. Yates knows our ranch well and also knows which private areas tend to be home to our weed enemies. Although he lives a great distance from the ranch and has to charge for his travel time, he is willing to spray many areas on one visit so property owners can split the cost of his travel. He told me that it's very difficult for commercial sprayers to give firm quotes because the amount of weeds can vary greatly from one acre to the next. Mr. Yates only charges for the herbicide used to kill the three species of weeds we're fighting. He has equipment that can get into difficult terrain, as well as broadcast over large areas for dense infiltrations. Mr. Yates comes to Trinidad to spray for the water and power companies as well.
I suspect that all the commercial sprayers operate similarly to Bill Yates. Feel free to do your own research and find the best deal for your needs.
As the Weed Control subcommittee hears of property owners scheduling commercial sprayers, we'll publish the dates so others might contact the same company to split costs.
One final complication to consider when scheduling weed spraying. Now that the cows are on the ranch, weed spraying should be done about 2-3 days prior to the cows meandering into the area. The freshly-sprayed herbicide could make them sick. Again, call us first, and we can give you some type of estimate as to where the cows are and what their path might be.
Whatever course of action you may choose, to take care of your property responsibilities, please don't put off any longer checking for noxious weeds on your land. Your failure to eliminate weeds on your property could jeopardize the entire ranch.
Thanks for caring and being responsible.
Harriet Vaugeois for the Weed Control subcommittee