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24 May 1989
AFM 91-19/TM 5-629/NAVFAC MO-314
Chapter 1
Section A -- Uses of Herbicides and Plant
d. Where contamination of a drinking-water
Growth Regulators
supply is possible, only those herbicides ap-
proved for use in potable water by the MAJ-
1-1. Beneficial Uses. Mechanical and manual
COM or EFD pest management consultant will
methods once were the only effective means of
be applied.
controlling vegetation on military installations.
Today, herbicides and plant growth regulators,
e. Restricted use herbicides, such as picloram
together with improved management procedures,
and paraquat, can be applied only by, or under,
can be used to eliminate vegetation in areas such
the direct supervision of a certified applicator.
as industrial sites and storage yards; to control
weeds along highways and railroads; to suppress
Section B -- Biology of Plants
woody plants in grasslands and utility rights-of-
way; to eliminate weeds in ornamental plantings,
1-3. Annuals and Biennials. Plants are classified
turf, and aquatic sites; and to slow the growth
as annuals, biennials, or perennials, based on
of turf grasses and other vegetation. Under
their life spans, and this is closely related to the
certain conditions, these chemicals can be used
ways they reproduce. All weeds pass through
to reduce maintenance costs and to eliminate
four stages of growth: seedling, vegetative,
hazardous mechanical operations.
flowering, and maturity, and each class of weed
(annual, biennial, and perennial) has a growth
1-2. Limitations and Requirements:
stage that is most susceptible to control. These
a. Failure or poor control may result from
aspects of plant biology dictate control strate-
selecting the wrong herbicide or plant growth
regulator, improper mixing of chemicals, poor
a. Annuals are plants that set seed and ma-
timing or method of treatment, and unsatisfac-
ture in one season. Seed is required for their
tory conditions at the time of application. The
initial establishment in temperate climates. Fox-
tail, crabgrass, common ragweed, wild buck-
conditions required for effective use; the poten-
wheat, and several mustards are examples. A
tial for injury to desirable plants; and the
variation of the true annual is the winter annual,
hazards of the chemical to the operator, live-
which germinates in the fall, lives over winter,
stock, wildlife, and other nontarget organisms
and matures early in the next season. Penny-
should be considered in choosing a herbicide or
cress, common chickweed, corn cockle, downy
growth regulator.
bromegrass, and shepherd's purse are examples
b. The choice of a herbicide or growth regula-
of winter annuals.
tor must include a study of the label. Rates and
(1) Individual plants may produce thou-
times of application, hazards, warnings, and
sands or, in some instances, hundreds of thou-
cautions are stated on the label of each product.
sands of seeds that provide an enormous source
of new plants. Many of these seeds remain alive
It is required by law that the label be followed.
for years. The high production of seed, the
buildup of seeds in the soil, and the length of
Cautions on all herbicide labels must be care-
time the seeds remain viable in the soil are
fully observed:
nature's way of ensuing that annual plants will
be perpetuated. These properties of annuals
c. Approval must be obtained from the major
make eradication almost impossible.
command (MAJCOM or MACOM) or engineer-
(2) The seedling stage of growth, at which
ing field division (EFD) pest management con-
time the plants are small, succulent, and actively
sultant before a herbicide can be used on a
growing, is the best time to apply herbicides to
military installation. Such approval is included
annuals. As the plant grows and passes through
in the installation pest management plan re-
the other stages, control becomes more difficult.
quired by DODD 4150.7 (DOD Pest Manage-
If the top growth is killed before seed is
ment Program). Early planning is important to
produced, the lifecycle of that plant is ended,
allow time for approval so that treatments can
since it cannot recover, but the reservoir of seeds
be timely. Timing of application is often critical.


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