There are many herbicide-resistant weeds — and then there is Palmer amaranth pigweed. As weed scientist Aaron Hager says, “Palmer is best described as Satan.”
Able to spurt 8 inches upward in two weeks, the shock and awe of pigweed drains billions of dollars from U.S. farm profits each year.
An individual pigweed plant may produce 400,000 seeds that — airborne or waterborne — allow the palmer to advance in waves. Pigweed loves heat and once past 2 inches the race is over in some fields; pigweed has won. It then becomes entrenched, reaching toward 7 feet and expanding at the base to what is essentially a small tree trunk — brutal on farm equipment.
- For more on Palmer pigweed, see Weed resistance and new technologies and 4 reasons pigweeds won this year.
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