Search for Excellence in Environmental Quality, Forestry and Natural Resources

Jennifer Caraway
CEA - Agriculture
UofA Division of Agriculture Research & Extension

Caraway, J.*1, , Griffin, B.2,
1 CEA - Agriculture, UofA Division of Agriculture Research & Extension, Texarkana, AR, 71854
2 Johnson County Extension Agent - Agriculture/Staff Chair, University of Arkansas, Clarksville, AR, 72830

Watersheild, Brasenia schreberi, is a leafy floating foliage that reproduces by insects or wind cross-pollinating the flowers. With very little to no physical or biological control methods, this plant can quickly takeover ponds and lakes if not managed.  Floating leaved plants, which anchor into sediment and have leaves that remain at or near the water surface, can be difficult to control. Foliar treatments can be easily washed off the leaf surface with minimal wave action, watershield being a good example of this issue.

A survey was conducted in May 2020 to evaluate and assess the impact of watershield to a 16 acre, 200,000+ cubic yard pond.  Watershield had covered over 75% of the pond. This pond is a significant investment for the producer and the detriment from the weed was collectively destroying this asset. The producer primarily utilizes this pond for recreational purposes.

Research on watershield has demonstrated that it can be difficult and expensive to control.  Prevention is not practical since it can be brought in, unknowingly, and established by various birds, small animals, humans, wind/weather etc.

Demonstration plots were conducted on August 18, 2020 and were evaluated and rated on September 9, 2020. Reference supporting chart and photo materials.

Stingray @ 1 qt/acre, Aquatic 2,4-D @ 1 qt/acre, Aquatic Glyphosate @ 1 qt/acre, Copper Sulfate @ 1 lb/acre, and Imazapyr @ 1 qt/acre were evaluated. Our goal was to target a herbicide application that would not only be effective but that would not be cost prohibitive. 

Our conclusion was that, depending on the cost that the producer was prepared to dispense versus the desired end results, Aquatic 2, 4-D or the Aquatic Glyphosate was the most practical control option.

Online social media platforms were utilized as educational resources as well as one on one consultations (Covid restrictions considered) to provide producers with the information needed  to make educated decisions to combat this weed.