Weeds flourish on at least 14,000 acres.
Among the many positions held by retiring Pratt County Environmental Director Dean Staab is noxious weed supervisor. Staab prepared and filed the 2012 Annual Noxious Weed Eradication Progress Report this week.
The Pratt County Noxious Weed Department employs three individuals: Staab, Robert Torres and Don Kitson halftime at a combined annual salary of $100,738. Staab's salary as noxious weed supervisor was $48,500 for 2012.
The Noxious Weed Department had revenues during the period of $221,756 including: chemical reimbursements of $18,023, equipment and labor of $5,585, county appropriations of $173,000 (1.204 mills with a 2012 valuation of $141,716,587), and LEPP permit fees of $1,800.
Expenditures for 2012 showed no funds expended from capital outlay, $36.781 in chemical purchases, $32,808 in contractual services, $10,316 for other commodities and $105,232 for personnel services.
The department will carry over $37,619 from the 2012 budget to 2013. Although there were no capital outlay expenditures in 2012 the ending balance for that fund as reported by Staab is $100,046.
The Noxious Weed Department treated 1846.7 acres of field bindweed in 2012 including 24.5 acres in the city, 520.1 acres in the county, 66.0 acres of private CRP, 566.7 acres of private fallow, 46.7 acres of private non-agricultural, 10.0 acres of private other, 440.7 acres of private pasture, 50.0 acres of private wheat, and 122.0 acres of state land.
There were 279 acres of Johnson grass treated including: 214 acres in the county, 53.3 acres of private CRP and 11.7 acres of state property.
There were 169.9 acres of musk thistle treated including: 9.0 acres of private CRP and 160.9 acres of private pasture. Additionally, there were 472.5 acres of Sericea Lespedeza treated on private CRP.
Currently there are an estimated 14,346.6 acres of noxious weeds in Pratt County on both public and private properties.
Noxious weeds in the report included: Field Bindweed, Johnson grass, Musk Thistle, and Sericea Lespedeza. Other noxious weeds on the form included: Bull Thistle, Bur Ragweed, Canada Thistle, Hoary Cress, Kudzu, Leafy Spurge, Multiflora Rose, Pignut, Quack grass and Russian Knapweed.