Noxious weed control needed now in Pratt County

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Musk thistle heads are distinguished by their "powder puff" shape. Other Kansas thistles have "shaving brush" shaped heads. They are considered a noxious weed in Kansas as each flower head, depending on the size, can produce anywhere from 200 to 3,000 seeds by midsummer and an entire plant can produce more than 10,000 seeds.

Pratt County Noxious Weed Department Director Robert Torres has issued a general notice to control noxious weeds, effective March 10, 2021.

According to Torres, the Kansas Noxious Law K.S.A 2-13-14 requires all people who own or supervise land in Kansas to control and eradiate all weeds declared noxious by legislative action. The weeds declared noxious are: field bindweed, musk thistle, Johnson grass, bur ragweed, Canada thistle, serivea lespedeza, leafy spurge, hoary cress, quack grass, Russian knapweed, kudzu and pignut.

"Notice is hearby given pursuant to the Kansas Noxious Weed Law to every person who owns or supervises land in Pratt County that noxious weeds growing or found on such land shall be controlled and eradicated," Torres said. "Control is defined as preventing the production of viable seed and the vegetative spread of the plant."

According to Torres, failure to observe the noxious weed notice may result in the county:

1) serving a legal notice requiring control of the noxious weeds within a minimum of five days. Failure to control the noxious weeds within the time period allowed may result in the county treating the noxious weeds at the landowners expense and placing a lien on the property if the bill is not paid within 30 days

2) filing criminal charge for non-compliance; conviction for non-compliance may result in a fine of $100 per day of non-compliance wiht a maximum fine of $1,500.

He said the public is also hereby notified that it is a violation of the Kansas Noxious Weed Law to barter, sell or give away infested nursery stock or livestock feed unless the feed is fed on the farm where grown or sold to a commercial processor that will destroy the viability of the noxious weed seed. Custom harvesting machines must be labeled with a label provided by the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture and must be free of all weed seed and litter when entering the state and when leaving a field infested with noxious weeds.

Additional information may be obtained online at https://prattcounty.org/162/Local-Weeds or from the Pratt County Noxious Weed Department, 449 SE 20th St., Pratt, Kansas 67124, or by contacting the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture, 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.