A: You’re likely to find this weed around the edges of your cornfield or where you don’t till. It’s a biennial plant. During the second year, it grows tall and resembles a thistle, but it’s not a thistle.
B: If this weed gets out of hand, harvest can be interesting, even with modern corn heads. You’re more likely to run into this weed if you farm bottomland, although it can show up and cause headaches elsewhere, too.
C: You will find this weed in fencerows and roadside ditches, but occasionally in fields, too. It’s actually a member of the nightshade family, and it’s considered poisonous. The plant is perennial and comes back each year.
D: If you don’t recognize this weed because you don’t have it on your farm, consider yourself lucky. A problem for years, this annual weed can still be a problem, partly because it has developed resistance to various herbicides. This weed can actually emerge in late March in most of the Midwest.
E: Even your grandfather likely battled this weed. Easier to control today with common corn and soybean herbicides, it can still show up in certain situations. It’s actually a relative of sunflowers. When dogs run through patches of these weeds in the fall, they often come home with unpleasant reminders stuck to their fur.
F: This weed literally has burst upon the scene in many fields over the past few seasons. Technically, a close cousin of this species, the “tall” variety, appears more often. Both are in the pigweed family, and both require spraying while weeds are small for control.
G: This weed has outlasted the days of hogs raised in lots and on pastures, which made it famous. It could often be found growing in hog lots where hogs had rooted up the soil over time. This weed is less of a problem today, but still makes an appearance occasionally.
H: You’re probably saying, “Oh, yes, I’ve seen that weed.” Yet you may not know its name. It’s a biennial that produces large leaves during the first year of growth. In the second year, it produces flowers and burrs that may get tangled in dog fur or sheep wool.