Officials with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture have positively identified the invasive weed Palmer amaranth again in Lincoln County.
This time, a field had been planted with a cover crop seed that was contaminated with Palmer amaranth. The prolific invasive weed, which is listed as a Prohibited Weed Seed in Minnesota as well as in Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin, was found in the county three years ago.
Palmer amaranth is not allowed in any seed offered for sale in the state.
The seed company that sold the contaminated seed self-reported this latest violation to MDA and assisted the farmer in destroying the infestation, according to applied herbicide recommendations by the University of Minnesota Extension.
MDA’s Palmer amaranth team will monitor the site for up to three years for any new plants.
Companies that sell seed in Minnesota are required to do genetic testing to look for Palmer amaranth. However, the wet spring and the inability to get intended crops planted led to a demand for other types of seed not typically sold in large quantities in Minnesota.
“Seed was brought into the state and sold prior to all the testing being completed,” according to Denise Thiede, MDA’s seed unit supervisor. “It’s fortunate in this case that when the testing was completed, this field had been the only one planted and all other seed could be removed from the marketplace.”
Late summer is when Palmer amaranth becomes visible in agricultural fields.
MDA asks that farmers, crop consultants and agronomists report any suspicious plants to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since it was first discovered in the state in 2016, Palmer amaranth has been found in seven Minnesota counties, including Lincoln. It was discovered in conservation plantings in Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties in 2016, and Todd and Douglas counties in 2017. MDA confirmed the weed in row crop fields in Redwood and Jackson counties in 2018. Details of previous finds can be found on the MDA website.