Crop & Pest Report


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Palmer Amaranth Found in 3 New Counties (09/10/20)

Pigweed ID pictures have been rolling in since the last Crop and Pest Report.

Pigweed ID pictures have been rolling in since the last Crop and Pest Report. These inquiries have led to Palmer amaranth being found in three new counties:  Stutsman, Barnes, and Cass. Investigations are still ongoing, but it appears the findings in Stutsman and Barnes may be linked to contaminated grain screenings being fed to cattle, whereas the plants in Cass County were found in an industrial area within the City of Fargo. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring provided the following statement after the findings: “I strongly encourage agricultural producers to monitor fields for weed infestations, especially where manure was spread or where cattle that were fed grain screenings may have foraged.” At one site, we did observe Palmer amaranth growing out of manure piles and around feed piles.

The sites in Stutsman and Barnes counties have vastly different infestation levels. One of the sites had fewer than one plant per acre in the fields that were monitored. The other site had more Palmer amaranth plants than there are people in North Dakota. Both sites are currently being managed and future management plans are in place to contain and manage the infestations. One interesting note is that velvetleaf and buffalobur were found at both sites. Neither of those weeds are very common in those areas, so they may also have arrived via contaminated feed.

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We strongly encourage everyone to continue scouting for potential Palmer amaranth infestations as we close out the summer and get ready to harvest the rest of our crops. Preventing seed production and seed rain in 2020 are some of the best tools that we have to manage infestations beyond this year. If you find plants that you suspect are Palmer amaranth, please contact your County Agent, local Area Extension Agronomist, Brian Jenks, or myself. Early detection will remain our best management tactic to prevent this weed from gaining a foothold in North Dakota.


Joe Ikley

Extension Weed Specialist

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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