Farmers and agronomists encouraged to scout fields for invasive weed
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has positively identified the invasive weed Palmer amaranth in Goodhue County.
After a crop consultant reported a suspected plant to the MDA, staff conducted a site visit and found the weed in two corn fields managed by one farmer. The MDA scouted fields surrounding the documented infestations and did not find any additional Palmer plants. It is unknown at this time how Palmer amaranth got into the two fields; however, the MDA is continuing to investigate potential sources.
An herbicide application stunted but did not kill the plants. A crew hand-pulled weeds in the two fields to eliminate any chance of seed production. The MDA will continue to work with the farmer, crop consultants, U of M Extension, and the County Agricultural Inspector to manage these infestations.
“This is a good example of the limits of herbicide on Palmer amaranth,” said Denise Thiede, MDA’s Seed Unit Supervisor. “If plants are allowed to reach a certain size, an herbicide application may not control them. That’s why we’re counting on farmers and crop consultants to report suspected plants. They are our best line of defense against Palmer amaranth.”
In Minnesota, Palmer amaranth is listed as a noxious weed and a prohibited weed seed. This means no Palmer amaranth is allowed in any seed offered for sale in Minnesota.
Palmer amaranth is resistant to multiple herbicides, can cause substantial yield losses, and greatly increase weed management costs in soybeans and corn.
The MDA is asking farmers and agronomists to take photos of suspicious plants, pull them out, and save them in plastic bags for genetic testing if needed. Report the find to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or email@example.com.