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Be Palmer Amaranth Aware

Accurate identification of weedy Amaranthus species during early vegetative stages can be difficult because many exhibit similar morphological characteristics ie they look very much alike During the 1990s waterhemp provided an excellent example of how difficult it can be to differentiate among the various Amaranthus species especially when plants are small
This is the first time in several years, the federal government has issued a weed alert.

Palmer amaranth is a fast-growing, problematic broadleaf weed native to the Southwest.  Recently, this weed has been spread to other parts of the nation.  It is a highly competitive weed that has developed resistance to many herbicides, making it difficult to control.  It is a very prolific seed producer, producing up to 250,000 seeds from one plant. 

As you spend time in your fields this summer, be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth.  If you suspect Palmer amaranth is on your property, contact your local county extension agent or crop consultant for recommendations for control.  You can take steps to help prevent further infestation by not entering affected areas, and always cleaning vehicles, equipment and clothing that has come in contact with the weed. 

Those planting grasses and flower mixes for conservation plantings should only use local reputable sources.  Obtaining a seed laboratory report before purchasing a seed mix is recommended.  Reject any seed lots which have “pigweed” or “amaranth” as a weed component unless the pigweed seed has been genetically tested to not be Palmer amaranth. 

For more information on stopping the spread of the invasive weed, click here

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