Although mapping can be considered as part of weed management it is so important and yet often overlooked that it has been included as a separate page of this site.
Scouting and mapping go hand in hand. Maps of where you have scouted for a particular weed and not found it previously can help identify the spread of an infestation. Data recorded about the density and location of weed infestations can document the success or failure of control efforts.
Burke County uses Garmin Etrex Legends for mapping scouting and spraying tracks in addition to weed infestation coordinates. On this map generated with ArcMap 8.3, the yellow lines are scouting tracks done primarily in May 2005. Primary scouting targets were salt cedar and common tansy. Happily, no salt cedar was found. The green dots are common tansy infestations. As you can see, most of the tansy is in a defined area running northwest to southeast about 15 to 18 miles long and about 3 to 5 miles wide. With this map it is easy to see that part one of a management plan should be containment with special emphasis on eradication of the few small infestations outside of the area.
Another use for our GPS mapping tools has been tracking of our spray crews. Historically we have run two spray crews spraying leafy spurge on county and township ROW. Most of these crews have consisted of recent high school graduates or college students. Some have been very conscientious workers and excellent at record keeping, some have not. Without a full time weed officer to monitor these crews and monitor summer spraying progress the crews were supposed to check in at the county extension office on Monday mornings and draw in the previous weeks spraying on a county map. Sometimes this worked well, at other times we had crews which didn't always remember where they had been and their records and spray logs couldn't always fill in the gaps. By using the Garmin Etrex units with the track logs turned on I can now download the track logs and have an accurate timeline of a crews position.
For additional information about this page contact course author Dan Folske, NDSU Extension Service/Burke County