Essay on Modern Control Techniques : Kudzu, Pueraria Montana Var

2133 Words 9 Pages
When Kudzu, Pueraria montana var. lobata, was first introduced to the United States no one suspected that the semi-woody vine would be capable of enveloping forests across the country. Today, the plant sprawls across an estimated 810,000 hectares of land from Eastern Texas to Florida all the way up to Kentucky. When it was originally planted, Kudzu was seen as a “miracle” plant, able to grow extremely quickly and stop erosion dead in its tracks. Given continuous encouragement by the government through the late 1800s and into the 1900s, Kudzu ran rampant and is now considered a Federal Noxious Weed as of 1997. Due to Kudzu’s exceptionally hardy root systems, which can be 30 cm in diameter and grow almost 4m into the ground (Harrington 2003), completely eliminating the vine is incredibly difficult. Modern control techniques include the tried-and-true repetitive mowing, livestock grazing, herbicidal treatments, and bio-herbicidal integrated programs. By utilizing these methods, or a combination thereof, Kudzu can be closely managed and reined back into control all across the Southern United States.
Bringing Kudzu to the U.S.
Originally marketed as a vine used for shade over porches and such, Kudzu was well-liked for its quick growth rate and ability to grow almost anywhere. Soon after, in the early 1900s, Kudzu was then advertised as an excellent forage crop for livestock by the United States Department of Agriculture, again liked for its ease of care. Steadily…

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