Farmers in Caswell County, in partnership with the local Farm Bureau and Soil & Water Conservation District expressed interest in both saving money and reducing chemical pollution by applying less herbicides to their fields.
The Piedmont Conservation Council, through a grant from the Rural Investment Foundation International and the Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund, purchased a “wick applicator” for farmers of Caswell County to collectively use. The wick applicator is a piece of equipment that attaches to four-wheelers, tractors, and other existing equipment and is used to apply herbicides to small, targeted areas. This targeted application leads to less overall use of herbicides and reduces environmental impacts from widespread broadcasting from traditional pump-and-spray methods.
The applicator works by brushing a "wick" - in this case a foam roll, soaked in herbicide solution accross weeds that are taller than the crop or grass. This direct application delivers concentrated amounts right where you need it, and not where you don't.
The wick applicator was delivered to the Caswell County Soil & Water Conservation District in May 2011, and immediately farmers began borrowing it for use in their fields. The local Cattleman’s Association has seen the most use of it thus far, but anyone interested in using the wick applicator should contact the Caswell County Soil & Water Conservation District on information on how to use the applicator and when it is available.
A group of local farmers and cattleman evaluate the results of weeds recently treated with the wick applicator.