Weed Superintendent

Nicholas Elledge

Weed Superintendent

Mission Statement

...to enforce and carry out the Nebraska Noxious Weed Control Act, and to Encourage and develop better weed control practices in Nuckolls County.

Weed Control Authority

In Nuckolls County, the Nuckolls County Board of Commissioners contracts the Weed Control Superintendent, and sits as the Weed Control Board.  The Weed Control Board directs the activities of the Weed Superintendent.

Landowner Responsibility

It is the duty of each person who owns or controls land to control noxious weeds on such land.

Noxious Weed Control Superintendent Duties and Responsibilities

  • Educate the citizens on the advantages of controlling Noxious Weeds.
  • Inspect all lands in Nuckolls County to determine if Noxious Weeds are present.
  • Survey all lands for the presence of the Nebraska Watch List Weeds
  • Establish and carry out a coordinated program for control of noxious weeds within the county.
  • Cause proper control methods to be used on noxious-weed-infested land when the landowner fails to control such noxious weeds.
  • Issue individual legal notices to landowners that do not control noxious weeds on their property.
  • Administer the Noxious Weed Control Act and the Noxious Weed Rules and Regulations at the local level.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education annually.
  • Be certified with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture as a commercial applicator.
  • Compiling infestation data and other reports as the Nebraska Director of Agriculture or control authority may require.
  • Perform Weed Free Forage certification inspections and article inspections.
  • Provide herbicide recommendations and biological information for the control of noxious weeds.
  • Spray roadsides, county owned properties, and county maintained cemeteries for noxious and nuisance weeds.
  • Custom spraying of small acreages=s.
  • Operates the Used Oil Collection Program in cooperation with Keep Nebraska Beautiful.

Noxious Weeds in Nebraska

The following is a list of the current weeds on the Noxious Weed List as set by the State of Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Musk Thistle*, Leafy Spurge*, Diffuse Knapweed, Plumeless Thistle, Canada Thistle*, Spotted Knapweed, Purple Loosestrife, Saltcedar*, Japanese Knotweed, Phragmites*

*Denote species found in Nuckolls County

Nuckolls County Weed Department Activities

In 2004 the Noxious Weed Control Superintendent performed 164 inspections. Inspections are made by land and from the air. Most inspections relate to Musk thistle while there are 4 known infestations of Canada thistle and 5 infestations of Leafy Spurge. At the present time, there have not been any sightings of Plumeless thistle, Spotted or Diffuse Knapweed, or Purple Loosestrife in Nuckolls County.

Yellow Toadflax has been identified in Nuckolls County. Yellow Toadflax is on Nebraska’s Watch List and is known to be very troublesome weed in the Northwest United States.

Nuckolls County Statistics

There are 368,429 acres of land under the jurisdiction of the Nuckolls County Weed Control Authority.  The Weed Control Superintendent surveys infestations of Noxious Weeds on the 136,026 acres of pasture and rangeland.  In addition to pasture and rangeland the following areas are monitored:

  • 230 acres of Railroad right of way
  • 701 acres of Non-Agricultural
  • 7,337 acres of County and State right of ways
  • 224,135 acres of Cropland

History of Nebraska Weed Control Law

  • 1873 Noxious Weed Control Law names first noxious weed, Canada Thistle.
  • 1962 All counties must have a Weed Control Eradication and Control District.
  • 1965 Noxious Weed Control Superintendent is established.  The Superintendent is under the authority of the Weed Control Board and the State of Nebraska.
  • 1989 Current Weed Law is passed.  Noxious Weeds include Musk thistle, Plumeless thistle, Canada thistle and Leafy Spurge.
  • 1993 Spotted and Diffuse Knapweed are added as Noxious Weeds in Nebraska.
  • 2001 Purple Loosestrife added as the States 7th Noxious Weed.
  • 2002 Nebraska Weed Watch List developed to identify potential new problems.
  • 2005 Saltcedar added as the State 8th Noxious Weed.
  • 2008 Phragmites declared as State noxious weed.
  • 2011 Knotweed (Japanese & Giant) declared as State noxious weed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a noxious weed law?  A weed is declared noxious when it is determined that it seriously threatens the welfare of the residents of the state and a sustained effort is needed to prevent serious economic loss. Regulations are implemented to control the weed and prevent its spread.

Do lease agreements between tenants and landowners change legal responsibility to control noxious weeds? No. All legal notices are required by law to be served to the landowner regardless of any lease agreement.

Can a landowner be forced to control noxious weeds on their property? Failure to comply with a served legal notice can result in a fine up to $1,500 or being billed for control work being done.

What about weeds such as sunflowers, bindweed, dandelions and velvetleaf? Only those weeds designated as noxious by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture are under the jurisdiction of the weed control authority.

Who is responsible for weeds inside city limits? Usually the city has a height regulation that prevents weeds from growing out of control inside city limits. If not controlled by the city, the county may issue legal notices on noxious weeds inside city limits.