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Bag O’ Woad, war on weeds

Article Date: 
18 May, 2012 (All day)


Every year, Morgan County is overrun by an aggressive weed called Dyer’s woad.  Dyer’s woad is a non-palatable, aggressive weed that produces chemicals which inhibit growth in adjacent plants. It has established itself across thousands of acres of western rangeland where the Bureau of Land Management estimates that it can reduce grazing by 38 percent. It is now widespread in Morgan County, as well as in 24 other counties in the state.  Dyer’s woad is a native of southeast Russia and has been used since the 17th century to produce a blue dye extract.  It is thought to have been imported into California in contaminated alfalfa seed and appeared in Brigham City around 1910.

Morgan Conservation District is hosting a Bag O’ Woad program May 21, 2012. Morgan County youth, ages 6 through 18, are invited to earn a $10 bounty for each 40 pound bag of the noxious weed, dyer’s woad, collected and returned.  Bag O’ Woad is designed to educate residents about the seriousness of dyer’s woad and other noxious weed infestations, and to rally community support for noxious weed control efforts in the county. There are three parts to the program: picking up an official program bag(s), bagging the woad, and collecting the bounty.  The program receives support from the Morgan Conservation District, 1st Bank, Diamond D Ranch, Geneva Rock, J Reverse J Cattle Company, Jay and Wess Wardell Fur Farm and Morgan County.  

To pick up your bag and receive program registration come learn about the weed at the Morgan County Road Shop on 380 North Industrial Road Wednesday, May 23 or 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Each participant is allowed two bags. There are a limited number of official program bags so they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis while supplies last.  Morgan County youth must obtain official program bags to participate.

All dyer’s woad must be collected within Morgan County. Fill your official program bag with 40 pounds of pulled or dug dyer’s woad. A minimum of a 2 inch root is required on all plants. Keep in mind that the wetter the soil, the easier the plants are to pull or dig. Please wear gloves as the weed’s sap can be an irritant.

Bring your full 40 pound bag to the Morgan County Road Shop on Wednesday, May 30 and June 6 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to collect your bounty. Only official program bags will be accepted. The signature of the youth and a responsible adult is required at the time the payment is made. To learn more about this program or Morgan County Noxious Weeds contact the Morgan Conservation District at 801-542-8208.