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Waterhemp No Longer A Foreign Weed In IndianaWaterhemp No Longer A Foreign Weed In Indiana

Waterhemp no longer a foreign weed in Indiana.

Tom Bechman 1

November 3, 2011

2 Min Read

This relative of pigweed, waterhemp, which resembles redroot pigweed in the early growth stages, is now a problem in parts of Indiana, particularly central and southern Indiana. Once upon a time it was a weed that we mentioned only because it was a problem for farmers in neighboring states.

Not only has waterhemp taken up residence in Indiana, but glyphosate-resistant waterhemp is now documented in Indiana. Betsy Bower, an agronomist for Ceres Solutions, Terre Haute, says a field of resistant waterhemp was confirmed in Vigo County even before this season.

That doesn't mean that every field where waterhemp was a problem in 2011 had resistant waterhemp, Bower is quick to notes. Sometimes the weed in that field isn't resistant. Instead, other factors, including environmental conditions and management methods, allow the weed to escape. It has nothing to do with resistance.

There is a lab at Purdue University that can grow out the seeds and test to see if a sample you send in is actually resistant. Contact your county Extension educator if you want to submit suspicious plant to Purdue for testing to see whether or not you have resistant waterhemp on your farm.

You may also be looking at maretails, sometimes called horseweed. It's another one that could be tied to changes in weed control methods. There are resistant marestail to glyphosate in Indiana. At the same time, Bower notes that not every field that has a dominant problem is beset with the weed because it is resistant to glyphosate.

If you have waterhemp, especially resistant waterhemp, it can be controlled more easily in corn than in soybeans. However, there are herbicides in both crops that will control it. Look for detailed descriptions of possible control options for waterhemp in the December edition of Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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