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New method to eradicate Sosnowsky’s hogweed

2017-03-20

The vegetation of Sosnowsky’s hogweed has already started; therefore, it is high time to plan measures for fighting these invasive plants which spread very rapidly and push out the local species, thus causing harm to the economy and becoming a very large problem not only in Lithuania but in other EU countries as well. Researchers have suggested a new and more effective method to eradicate this plant. In order to be able to use this method, the Ministry of Environment together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the State Plant Service are currently working to specify the applicable legal acts.

Until now, herbicides containing glyphosate as the active ingredient have been used for the eradication of Sosnowsky’s hogweed. However, their use eradicates all other plants in the sprayed area, and after they have been eradicated, new Sosnowsky’s hogweed plants tend to spring out. After the latter have sprout up, it is necessary to eradicate them again until there are no seeds in the soil. Such eradication is long and expensive.

The implementers of the EMPHASIS project initiated by the European Commission and intended for the development of more efficient measures to eradicate Sosnowsky’s hogweed proposed a new integrated biological-chemical method. By applying this method, Sosnowsky’s hogweed is treated with a spray mixture of herbicides Nuance 75 WG and Accurate 200 WG which does not eradicate all plants in the sprayed area, and therefore, they do not allow new Sosnowsky’s hogweed to sprout up.

According to Laura Janulaitienė, Chief Specialist of the Environmental Protection Division of the Environmental Protection and Forest Department at the Ministry of Environment, the aforementioned herbicides are registered in Lithuania only for the use in summer and winter crops in spring. In order to be able to use them for the eradication of Sosnowsky’s hogweed, the respective legal acts are being amended. If this method of eradication is applied according to precise recommendations, Sosnowsky’s hogweed should be eradicated in two or three years.

Funds for the fight with Sosnowsky’s hogweed are available for municipalities under the Special Municipal Environmental Protection Support Programme. The recommendations for the use of this Programme indicate that its funds are allocated for the implementation of controls of the species included in the List of Invasive Species in Lithuania (for example, Sosnowsky’s hogweed, etc.) as well.

Communication Division
20 March 2017

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas