Green Guide

Spraying along Lower Platte River begins to control weeds

Posted September 16

— Landowners along the Lower Platte River in eastern Nebraska are being asked to help pay for aerial spraying intended to kill invasive plants that threaten the river's flow as well as wildlife habitat.

Spraying began Tuesday and will cover up to 300 acres of selected sandbars in the river from Columbus downstream to the Missouri River. The targets of the herbicide are phragmites and purple loosestrife, both classified as noxious weeds. Experts say they take over much of the natural habitat needed for the threatened piping plover and endangered least tern. They also increase the risk of ice-jam flooding along the river bordering Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, Dodge, Colfax, Butler, Platte and Cass counties.

Cost of the spraying is about $200 per acre. Landowners are being asked to contribute half.

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