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    Controlling Azolla Weed in Irrigation Pond
    Aquatic Weed and Algae Control Case Study

    Location and Acreage:
    Watsonville, CA | 1.7-Acres

    Project Timeframe: 
    May - June 2020

    Project Manager:
    Ben Chen, Biologist  

    Site Description:
    This irrigation pond is a 1.7 acre pond on a private property in Watsonville, CA, that experienced an intense azolla infestation. Azolla is a genus of seven species of aquatic ferns (weeds) in the family Salviniaceae. They resemble duckweed or some mosses and were severely impacting the owner’s use of the waterbody for irrigation of food crops.

    before-and-after-Jul-20-2020-07-54-28-70-PM

    Scope of Work:
    Due to the function of the waterbody as a crop irrigation source, a delicate and deliberate approach was necessary. SOLitude’s professionals used a combination of EPA-approved herbicides and spray adjuvants to eliminate the azolla infestation.

    Project Description:
    Upon initial consultation, the pond was nearly covered with azolla. Mechanical harvesting and manual removal were discussed as natural options, but due to limited budgets and the rapid proliferation of this plant, they were not recommended. However, aquatic herbicide applications have proven to be very effective against this species. Because most aquatic herbicides have irrigation restriction requirements, achieving this goal required coordination and careful dosing by our team of aquatic management professionals to ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations as well as the client’s satisfaction.

    To ensure thorough and effective results, initial and follow up applications were scheduled two weeks apart. A combination of herbicide products, along with various spray adjuvants, were applied in the initial dosage. The treatment in the follow-up application was modified to fine-tune the effects on the target species. Within two weeks after the follow up application, the pond had completely cleared of azolla. The client was able to irrigate from the pond in between each application after the irrigation restriction was followed with no impact on their crops.

    Guide To Sustainable Pond Algaes & Aquatic Weed Control
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