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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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ATVs Useful for Treating Brush, Weeds on Rangeland

LAS CRUCES--Because of their versatility, all-terrain vehicles or ATVs are finding a home on the range.

Many ranchers find ATVs useful when they need to treat brush and poisonous plants, said Keith Duncan, weed and brush specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service.

"A number of spray systems are designed specifically for ATV use, and they work very well," he said. "Generally, they include a five-to 25-gallon tank that will fit on the back of an ATV. A spray boon can be put on for broadcast spraying, or you can use hoses with a spray wand for a spot treatment."

An ATV system costs about $200 dollars, compared with several thousand dollars for a pre-made pickup system, Duncan said.

"You wouldn't want to spray two sections of rangeland with an ATV sprayer, but you can do small areas very economically," he said. "With an ATV, you can perhaps get into the places you couldn't with a truck."

For better stability, Duncan suggests using a four-wheel ATV. For greater reliability, he recommends a four-stroke engine. To reduce flats, use heavy duty tires inflated to 3 to 5 psi (pounds per square inch) and add a stop-leak compound.

The hoses and pump should be resistant to chemicals and diesel fuel. A 12-volt electric pump rated at 1.4 to 1.8 gallons per minute works well, Duncan said.

For more information or specific herbicide recommendations, contact your county Extension office.