Weed Control

Saddle Hills County is at the heart of one of Canada's most important crop producing regions. Our Agricultural Services Department is responsible for administering weed and pest control within the County, and our seasonal Weed Inspectors carry out regular annual inspections, to check for noxious and prohibited weeds, as designated under the Alberta Weed Control Act, and nuisance and pest species, listed under the Agricultural Pests Act. This helps ensure not only the high quality of our crops but also eliminate pests. By identifying areas with weed or pest problems we are able to help farmers eradicate and control the issues for the benefit of their crops, and those of other within the County.

Weed Inspector Facts
  • Under the Alberta Weed Control Act, an inspector may enter or inspect land during reasonable hours, without notice. Inspectors will not enter any buildings on land they inspect.
  • County Weed Inspectors may park vehicles in field approaches but will never drive onto your land.
  • Weed Inspectors inspect the entirety of the County, which includes both public and private lands.
  • Weed Inspectors follow strict biosecurity protocols to prevent disease spread. Boot covers are worn while inspecting and any tools that may come into contact with soil are disinfected with a bleach solution, as per the guidelines within the Alberta Clubroot Management Plan.
  • Agricultural Services divides the County into 'zones' and each Weed Inspector is assigned a zone that they are responsible for inspecting within.
  • Weed Inspectors don't just look for invasive plants, they also do inspections for grasshoppers, set up traps to collect bertha armyworm moths, and participate in provincial crop disease surveys. 

Prohibited Noxious and Noxious Weeds can spread rapidly and cause serious problems, especially for our many agricultural producers. Landowners are responsible for weed and pest control on their property. The County can provide recommendations and plans for control should you locate weeds on your property and are always here to help with any issues you may experience.

Weed Notices
Weed notices are issued as outlined in the Weed Control Act.


Who is responsible for weeds in various areas?
County Roads/Rights-of-Way/Road Allowances
  • These are the responsibility of Saddle Hills County. We have a roadside spraying program to help keep our rights-of-way clear of weeds.
Private Land
  • The landowner is ultimately responsible for any weeds found on their property, even if the land is leased to tenants.
  • Highways and their rights-of-way are the responsibility of Alberta Transportation.
Industrial Sites/Oilfields
  • Industry or oilfield leases and sites are the responsibility of the company currently operating that site.
Why does the landowner get weed notices instead of the tenant?
Agricultural Services staff are required under the Weed Control Act to send weed notices to the legal landowner listed on the assessment tax roll.
When is picking recommend to control weeds instead of herbicide application?
For some weeds, by the time they have flowered they have also developed viable seeds which, if not removed and properly disposed of, can cause the infestation to persist and increase in size over time. For plants that have already flowered, picking, bagging, and disposing of them at your local transfer station is recommended. 
What if County Weed Inspectors find provincially legislated weeds on my land?
If property noxious or noxious weeds are found on your property, Agricultural Services will first make efforts to contact the landowner to ensure that they are aware of the issue and see if there is already a plan in place to control the infestation. Staff will try to call the landowner via telephone, unless the number is unavailable in which case a letter will be mailed out.
What happens after a weed notice is issued?
Weed notices are posted as per the requirements outlined in the Weed Control Act. Each weed notice outlines a specified period of time in which recommend control measures must be implemented. If it is determined that no efforts have been made to complete control measures by the date listed on the notice, then Agricultural Services will enforce the weed notice and a bill will be sent to the landowner. 
What happens if I can't find weeds I have been notified of?
If you are unable to find the weeds you have been notified of, please call the Agricultural Services Department at (780) 864-3760 and staff will be happy to provide you with further information.
Which weeds are 'Problem Weeds'?
The weeds that are most concerning are those defined as either Noxious or Prohibited Noxious under the Weed Control Act.
  • Noxious (ie. Scentless Chamomile, Yellow Toadflax) - These plants must be controlled. Any plants found must be prevented from establishing or spreading further.
  • Prohibited Noxious (ie. Orange Hawkweed) - These plants must be destroyed. Any plants found must be completely eradicated.
There is a patch of weeds that extends from my field into a County right-of-way. Should I overspray to kill the weeds in the ditch?
Spraying as close as possible to the edge of your field is recommended and encouraged. Depending on which herbicide is used, spraying the ditch could potentially kill the grass and allow invasive weeds to flourish. If you find weeds in the County ditches, please inform Agricultural Services by calling (780) 864-3760.

The Agricultural Services Department conducts their annual spraying and mowing programs on County road allowances, using a 3 year rotational cycle, to ensure effective weed and pest control for the entiriety of the County.

Selective herbicide application on roadsides is done to control the spread of noxious and prohibited noxius weeds. 

Areas to be sprayed and/or mowed will be advertised by the County in advance. Should you wish to be included in, or excluded from, the Roadside Spraying Program, you can sign either a Fenceline Spraying Agreement or Do Not Spray Agreement with the County.

Fenceline Spraying Agreement

Should you wish to have the private fenceline adjacent to your property sprayed, as part of the County's Roadside Spraying Program, you will need to complete a Fenceline Spraying Agreement

Eligible registrants for the program are Saddle Hills County residents, grazing lease holders, and registered landowners. 

By signing the agreement, Agricultural Services will apply herbicide along the perimeter of the property, within the fenceline adjacent to a developed right-of-way. This allows the County to spray up to two metres onto private land and control noxious and prohibited noxious weeds and/or brush less than 2 metres in height.

Heribicide application will be avoided within 30 horizontal metres of domestic use dugouts, shelterbelts, residences, or common bodies of water, and applied from the roadside unless the terrain only allows access from inside the property line.

Fenceline Spraying Agreements remain in effect for the year it is signed or until cancelled by the landowner or the County.

Do Not Spray Agreement

If you do not want the County to conduct the Roadside Spraying Program on the road allowance that is adjacent to your property, you will need to complete a Do Not Spray Agreement

Once the agreement is signed, the landowner becomes responsible for maintaining weed control on the portion of roadside between their property boundary and the centre line of the roadway. It is the owners responsibility to keep the area free of noxious and/or restricted weeds and brush.

Maintenance Inspections will periodically be carried out by the Agricultural Services Department on this right-of-way, to ensure that proper weed control is being undertaken. Should brush, noxious and/or restricted weeds be present in this area and are determined to be at an unacceptable level, Saddle Hills County will notify the landowner and define a time period within which the issues should be rectified. Failure to comply to an acceptable standard, as deemed by the Agricultural Services Department, may result in cancellation of the agreement and inability to participate in the program for a period of two years. 

In this instance, the County may take whatever steps it deems appropriate to control the weeds and vegetation, including herbicide application.

Landowners should destroy prohibited noxious or noxious weeds as soon as they are identified. These weeds spread rapidly and are highly competitive. Weeds in these categories are restricted so that they don't become established in Alberta. Details on the most common weed species for the Northwest Region can be found below, courtesy of the Alberta Invasive Species Council. Click on each image for more information.

Prohibited Noxious Weeds

             Image of Himalayan Balsam   Image of Meadow Hawkweed   Image of Jointed Goatgrass

             Image of Orange Hawkweed   Image of Pale Yellow Iris   Image of Tansy Ragwort

             Image of Purple Loosestrife


Noxious Weeds

             Image of Baby's Breath   Image of Canada Thistle   Image of Common Mullein   

             Image of Common Tansy   Image of Common Burdock   Image of Creeping Bellflower   

             Image of Dame's Rocket   Image of Downy Brome   Image of Field Bindweed   

             Image of Field Scabious   Image of Great Burdock   Image of Leafy Spurge   

             Image of Oxeye Daisy   Image of Perennial Sow Thistle   Image of Scentless Chamomile

             Image of Tall Buttercup   Image of White Cockle   Image of Wooly Burdock

             Image of Yellow Clematis   Image of Yellow Toadflax

For more information on noxious and prohibited noxious weeds, weed control, or weed inspections, please contact the Agricultural Services Department at (780) 864-3760 or email ag@saddlehills.ab.ca.