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Weed Control

History of Costilla County Weed Program

The Costilla County Board of Commissioners adopted the Costilla County Noxious Weed Management Plan in 2006 for all unincorporated lands within the county.  Despite the passage of the plan in 2006 there have been limited coordinated efforts within the county to eradicate and manage noxious weeds until the past few years.  Within the last two years Costilla County has made a concentrated effort to launch a sustainable weed management program by licensing a staff member to be a Certified Operator for pesticide application and purchasing equipment necessary to carry-out such activities.


Lucas Casias, Licensed Certified Operator

Lucas Casias obtained his Pesticide Applicator License through the Colorado Department of Agriculture in May of 2012 and Lucas has been designated as the County’s Noxious Weed Coordinator


Why does Costilla County need a Noxious Weed Program?

Certain noxious weeds constitute a real threat to the economic and environmental values of the land within Costilla County.  Biodiversity, ecosystem stability and farmland productivity are threatened by noxious weeds.  Noxious weeds alter soil properties, the composition of plant communities and change the structure of animal communities.  Noxious weeds negatively impact livestock forage, crop production and reduce crop yields.  This is critical because the county's oldest and strongest industry is agriculture.  Because of the abilities of these weeds to spread rapidly by a variety of means and the proclivity in seed production, an explosion in their population is quite possible without attention.


Weed Control Map


 Black Henbane

Black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) is a Mediterranean native that was introduced as an ornamental and medicinal plant in the 17th century. It spreads by seeds and is found in a variety or environmental conditions. Black henbane is narcotic and poisonous to humans. Livestock avoid it unless other forage is not available. Two alkaloids in black henbane tissues (hyoscyamine and scopolamine) are useful sedative/ anti-spasmodic drugs when used under controlled conditions.

Black Henbane
Black Hembane  
Black Henbane


Black henbane is an annual plant that germinates, flowers, seeds, and dies during one growing season or a biennial plant that germinates in one growing season, then flowers, seeds, and dies during a second plant that grows up to 3 feet tall. The entire plant is covered with greasy hairs. Leaves are up to 8 inches long and 6 inches wide, shallow lobed cut into a leaf from the edge toward the center; greater than toothed, but not quite compound, and heavy scented. Flowers are borne on spikes narrow, non-spreading inflorescence form the leaf axils from May until September. They are showy, 5 lobed, up to 2 inches across, and greenish-yellow in color with deep purple veins and throats. The calyx, the outermost flower leaves (sepals) together, often green in color forms a 1-inch, urn-shaped "fruit" that has a thickened lid that pops off at maturity and spills the black seeds.


Other Noxious Weeds Found in the County Include:

Cypress Spurge


Hoary Cress


Houndstongue 1Houndstongue 2


Leafy Spurge


Perennial Pepper Weed


 Russian Knapweed



Canada Thistle



Spray Rig

Weed Control Spray Rig