grass-still

LYON COUNTY, KY — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hopes to cut down the number of times crews have to mow state highways.

Grass along highways has been unusually tall this summer. The large amounts of rain from early May and June have put mowing crews behind their normal schedule.

“State roads, interstates, county roads have all been overgrown on the edges,” says Shane Smith, who lives in Lyon County.

Smith says driving this summer has become more hazardous because of the tall grass. He says his biggest concern is not being able to see deer on the side of the road.

“Hidden animals are bad. A guy here locally in the community had one come through his windshield, and he is lucky to be alive,” Smith says.

The state is hoping to address the problem with a new chemical spray called PGR —short for plant growth regulator. PGR doesn’t kill the grass. It simply slows down the growth.

Lyon County was one of the counties where PGR was used this summer on all state highways. Judge Executive Wade White says he can tell a difference where the PGR was applied.

“From what I can tell, the grass that normally grows here is working,” says White.

But, not everyone is on board with the spraying.

“You’re spraying it directly on a ditch line, and all ditch lines lead to bigger bodies of water, and that chemical is capable of stunting growth of grass. I don’t know what else it could be capable of stunting the growth of,” says Smith.

The particular PGR spray used in Lyon County though has a very low toxic level. KYTC spokesman Keith Todd says they will use this year to test how effective the chemical is.

Everyone just wants a solution that will keep them safe on the roads.

“People complain all the time about the high grass, but it’s just somethings you can control and some things you can’t,” says Smith.

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