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Red Deer County is attacking an ongoing weed issue for its ratepayers.County council unanimously approved a reduction in the fee for its fence line weed control program from $100 per half mile to FREE at the Aug. 7 council meeting.The weed control program allows the County to spray a fence or property line adjacent to a County right-of-way. The County previously used All-Terrain Vehicles and sprayed from the property owner’s side of the fence.Under the new structure, fence line spraying will largely be done by the roadside spraying trucks. This reduces the need for ATVs to be on properties and in ditches doing the spraying.“It will make it a faster, less labour-intensive and more efficient because we’re already driving by,” said Roland Krusi, Red Deer County Assistant Agricultural Services Manager. “If we’re already driving by, to then spray to the fence too, it just makes sense.”The ATVs will still be used for situations where the trucks can’t reach the fence line. The change also reduces the time spent spraying as the County doesn’t have to clean the ATVs after each use to prevent cross contamination.By spraying up to the fence line, which can often be set back from the property line, Krusi said it will help prevent the spread of weeds.“The problem area will infest a ditch and infest a person’s field even if they spray their areas,” said Krusi. “If we take care of the weeds along the fence, it solves a problem for the county and the land owner.” Krusi described the process as labour intensive before the change due to pre-scouting requirements by County staff and paperwork intensive.For more information on weed spraying, call the Agricultural Services department at 403.342.8654.