The purpose of the noxious weed program is to help the public control noxious weeds that may become established on their property.
There are currently six plant species that have been designated as noxious weeds in Delaware. Johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense, was made a noxious weed in Delaware in 1970. In 1982, Canada Thistle, Cirsium arvense, was placed on the list. In 1986, Burcucumber, Sicyos angulatus, and Giant Ragweed, Ambrosia trifida, were added to the noxious weed list. The latest additions came in 2012, when Texas panicum and Palmer amaranth were added. Delaware law requires that these weeds not be allowed to exceed 24 inches in height or be allowed to produce seed.
Our main objective is to provide management assistance to farmers, landowners and homeowners. Acceptable control of any of the four noxious weeds is expensive, time consuming and requires intensive management. The Noxious Weed Unit of the Plant Industries section has information available on specific treatments, both chemical and mechanical, which can provide control of any of the noxious weeds.
The Plant Industries Section has an equipment loan program to further assist the public in the control of the four noxious weeds. The Department of Agriculture owns several pieces of herbicide application equipment, which is available, at no charge, to farmers and other qualified individuals for the control of noxious weeds. This service has been very popular as it allows the landowner to control the weeds without making a large financial investment in specialized equipment and it increases compliance with the weed law.
If you have questions, comments, need assistance, or if you know of a site where noxious weeds are growing, please contact Todd Davis at 302-698-4581 or via e-mail at Todd.Davis@state.de.us. All calls will be handled confidentially.