Farm Talk

Ag News from Around the Country

April 5, 2011

Aquatic plant growth an issue for farm ponds

Parsons, Kansas — Reeling in a couple pounds of pond weed may be somewhat of a challenge, but it is nowhere near the amount of fun as hooking into a good sized fish and battling it all the way to the shore.

Pond owners can follow a general rule to try and eliminate this occurrence from their fishing experience: if your pond was weedy last year, then chances are you will have a similar problem this year.

There are two main causes of excess aquatic plant growth, said Marley Beem, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension aquaculture specialist.

“The first is shallow areas. These are ideal for emergent aquatic plants like cattails, bulrush and many others,” Beem said. “Try deepening shallow edges to minimize the area that is less than three feet in depth.”

Shallow areas are often caused by heavy cattle access or erosion in the watershed. Steps should be taken to prevent these situations. The second major cause of pond weed problems is a high level of fertilizer runoff.

“Typically this fuels the growth of algae,” Beem said. “Try reducing the amount of phosphorous that is applied in the watershed. If that’s not possible you may wish to consider aquatic dyes to reduce the amount of light getting into the water column.”

If these problems are not addressed, plants will tend to come back quickly following herbicide application or most other types of treatment.

“Spring is the best time to monitor pond plant grown with an eye toward doing something about it before it gets out of hand,” he said.

There are a couple of options pond owners can choose in ridding their pond of overgrown aquatic plants. The first solution is the use of herbicides, which is typically quite effective, but there is some risk involved.

“One of the main risks in applying herbicides to aquatic plants is that too much plant material will be killed and, as it decays, will use up all the dissolved oxygen in the pond and suffocate the fish,” Beem said. “This risk is much lower in the spring and is usually less work and lower cost to treat early because you are treating a smaller area.”

As some pond owners may be concerned about the safety of using herbicides, Beem said those that are labeled for aquatic use have undergoneextensive testing to minimize the chance of harming fish, other organisms and the health of people eating the fish.

However, there are nonchemical approaches that can be tried in some situations. Grass carp should be used with caution, especially in fishing ponds as bass and bluegill need submerged plant beds and grass carptend to eliminate these.

“If your main problem is not being able to cast because of weedy conditions, you might instead consider spot treatments with herbicides to open up a few stretches of shoreline,” Beem said. “From the point of view of the fish, about 20 percent coverage of the pond by aquatic plants is ideal.”

1
Text Only
Ag News from Around the Country
  • MANURE34.jpg Manure Expo aids nutrient management

    Valuing manure and the environment was the platform for the 2014 Manure Expo held at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo.
    The two-day exposition pulled together the resources of over 70 vendors from the U.S. and Canada along with the expertise of Extension professionals from Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Ark-ansas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Okla. farmer’s lost phone turns up at Japan grain mill

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney thought his iPhone was lost for good when it fell into a grain elevator last year. Eight months later, his phone was returned unscathed after a trip to Japan.

    July 15, 2014

  • Combustible grain dust prevention workshop, July 31

    Kansas State University will offer a combustible grain dust prevention workshop teaching advanced mitigation methods on July 31, 2014 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

    July 8, 2014

  • House discusses new federal schemes to soak up water authority

    Last week, the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee on water and power held an oversight hearing entitled “New Federal Schemes to Soak Up Water Authority: Impacts on States, Water Users, Recreation, and Jobs.”

    July 1, 2014

  • USDA to ‘cure’ feral hogs

    A preservative used to cure bacon is being tested as poison for feral hogs.

    June 24, 2014

  • Cargill to move sows to group housing by 2015

    Cargill, one of the largest pork producers in the U.S., is continuing its commitment of moving to group housing for its sows that produce hogs for pork.

    June 17, 2014

  • Bethany-Schifferdecker.jpg Girard FFA member elected state VP

    Bethany Schifferdecker from the Girard FFA chapter was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 state FFA vice-president at the 86th Kansas FFA Convention May 28-30 on the Kansas State University campus.

    June 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • thorpe_dairy.jpg Couple goes ‘Kiwi’ for grassfed dairy

    Not many people would move nearly 8,000 miles away to work on a dairy farm.

    June 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • NOAA Seasonal Drought Outlook

    As of May 13, 2014, drought covered approximately 38 percent of the contiguous 48 states, according to the U. S. Drought Monitor.

    May 28, 2014

  • Cattlemen offer up to $10,000 reward for cattle theft case

    A local rancher and member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association recently had 27 head of cattle stolen.  The cattle were taken from the Robson Ranch near Claremore, Okla.

    May 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content