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Be on the Lookout for Palmer Amaranth (06/27/19)

In the last week, I have gone on field visits to Benson and Nelson counties to look at potential Palmer amaranth infestations.

In the last week, I have gone on field visits to Benson and Nelson counties to look at potential Palmer amaranth infestations. In one field in each county, we were able to find Palmer amaranth growing in dense populations as localized patches in the headland rows, with a few scattered plants nearby. The density in these patches indicates that at least one or more mature plants went through a combine last year. Luckily, these infestations were caught early enough to control the plants before they will go to seed. One population was detected at a small enough stage to control with herbicides, while the other population was already 16” tall and had overtaken some corn rows by the time I visited.

At this time, we do not know how these plants were introduced, only that the introduction was likely last year.

Until recent rains, these counties have been relatively dry, which is good conditions for Palmer growth. The upcoming warmer temperatures will favor rapid growth of any Palmer amaranth plants that are currently growing in the state. Early detection is the key for keeping Palmer amaranth populations at manageable levels. With many acres being sprayed this week, these findings serve as a good reminder to scout after an herbicide application is made in order to look for weed escapes or herbicide resistant weeds in general, not just Palmer amaranth.

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Joe Ikley

Extension Weed Specialist

 

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