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Vegetation along state highways expected to recover
Application of growth retardant resulted in browning grass
LIMA (Friday, August 09, 2013)The brown grass along area highways is expected to recover and green up according to the herbicidal spraying company contracted by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Officials with ODOT District 1, based in Lima, met with representatives of Mercier’s Inc. of South Point on Thursday to assess the condition of the roadside vegetation which was sprayed in July along some two-lane highways in the district. The 2, 4-D-based chemical sprayed to kill broadleaf weeds also contained a growth retardant. The spraying was performed in each of ODOT District 1’s eight counties which are Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot.

“According to the contractor, the reaction we’re seeing with the vegetation is typical with the chemical mixture used,” said Kirk Slusher, Ohio Department of Transportation District 1 deputy director. “As expected, the grass first turns brown before it begins to recover and in the areas we’ve examined, that is occurring. We expect that to continue,” he said.
ODOT regularly performs herbicidal spraying by contract. Vegetative retardants, which slow the growth of grass, are typically included in the mix to reduce the number of mowings each year. “We can reduce our mowing by 50 percent in those areas where a retardant is applied,” said Slusher. Retardants used in the past have mostly browned just the tips of the grass. “Their particular brand of retardant resulted in more browning than we’re used to seeing,” he said.
Grass that does not recover will be reseeded by the contractor, said Slusher.
Ohio’s highways are essential to keeping and creating new jobs. With a mission to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for maintaining one of the largest transportation networks in the nation. Guided by ethical principles and accountability, ODOT works to improve safety, enhance travel and advance economic development. As a $2.8 billion enterprise, the department wisely invests in its core services of snow and ice removal, annual construction program and highway maintenance operations.
For more information contact:
Rhonda Pees, Public Information Officer, at (419) 999-6803
or email