Mesquite control applications — wait or worry?

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Mesquite mortality in West TX

Gambling on the ideal time for mesquite control can be a costly endeavor.

Given the U.S. Drought Monitor designated most of Texas and much of the Southwest as “abnormally dry” at best, all bets were off for 2022.

“With the technology and insight we collect through LandVisor, we can better calculate times to apply brush control, as well as when not to apply those measures,” says Benny Martinez, market development specialist, Corteva Agriscience. “Sometimes, such as in extended drought, our recommendation may be to not spray at all.”

Martinez explains carbohydrate movement through a plant is key to herbicide absorption. For carbohydrates to translocate through any plant, it must undergo photosynthesis. However, last year, due to severe drought affecting overall mesquite and the plant's ability to photosynthesize, many mesquites were not susceptible to herbicide application.

“Some leaf conditions cannot be seen by the naked eye, and it’s hard to track and compare growing conditions across multiple years,” Martinez says. “But we can do that with LandVisor.”

Place your bets

LandVisor™ advanced brush management helps ranchers and land managers precisely target applications to the most-productive acres and hit optimum treatment timing for better results. LandVisor helps make the planning process easier and more precise by combining sophisticated imagery with data analytics and industry expertise. Guided by a human consultant, ranchers get interactive digital maps with data. That data identifies soil types, key plant species, mesquite density and an estimate of current and potential grass production. LandVisor can identify where spraying offers the best return. During the spray season, LandVisor helps determine when mesquite is ready to spray to get the best results.

Before LandVisor advanced brush management, ranchers and applicators were dependent on visual indicators to guess what was going on inside the plant. Multiple other environmental factors also determine when mesquite is most susceptible to herbicide.

However, digital and imagery technology available from LandVisor now helps make that call easier, quicker and more accurate. And it’s customized to the targeted pasture. A Certified LandVisor Consultant confirms application timing with an on-the-ground inspection.

The technology combines current season growth with readings of soil temperature, soil moisture and other indicators to identify a window of time to spray mesquite for the best results. LandVisor determines the optimum spray window.

“If conditions aren’t right, we won’t release the job for spraying,” Martinez says. “Last year, we advised many customers to hold for better spray conditions.”

Hold ‘em or fold ‘em

Rainfall, especially after a dry period, can cause new leaf growth, indicating upward translocation — the opposite direction from getting herbicide to the roots. It can take two weeks for these visual indicators to appear. If greening doesn’t appear, timing is good, but while ranchers are waiting on the visual indicators, the peak opportunity to apply herbicides often is missed.

LandVisor technology, however, remotely monitors real-time variability of mesquite conditions. This eliminates the daunting task of manually checking trees and reduces chances of missing the longer application window.

Before a certified applicator can spray, a Certified LandVisor Consultant visits the target site. The consultant will substantiate what the technology sees and check out any anomalies, such as bug damage, which might hinder translocation of the herbicides.

If conditions are within the target parameters, the consultant confirms with the rancher-customer and releases the job to be sprayed by an applicator certified by Corteva Agriscience.

Cards on the table

Making applications inside prescription parameters of LandVisor advanced brush management significantly improves the level of mortality, which directly correlates to longevity of control.

“If recommendations are followed, LandVisor not only facilitates an increase in mesquite mortality, it also increases consistency of rootkill,” Martinez says.

Research data collected over four years shows an average of 80% effective mesquite control when following a prescription from LandVisor. The average across all sites resulted in a 40% increase in control compared with not following the prescription.

Establish Zones for Treatment

LandVisor® advanced brush management helps you figure out where and when spraying will deliver the best return — and where it won’t. With the image-interpreting technology of LandVisor, we know when mesquite is ready — and when it’s not. And it monitors all your target mesquite, not just what you had time to check.

To request a demo, or for more information about LandVisor advanced brush management and herbicide prescriptions, visit

LandVisor® advanced brush management monitors condition of mesquite to indicate when it’s ready to spray. Green in these scouting maps indicates mesquite will respond to herbicide. The red indicates mesquite won’t respond well, which was often the recommendation in 2022. With maps from LandVisor, the entire landscape is visible, enabling assessment of the total mesquite community instead of a few selective plants.



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