Production Blog
Pam Smith DTN\Progressive Farmer Crops Technology Editor

Thursday 08/16/12

Pigweed Gets Loose in Illinois
Soybean fields choked with herbicide resistant Palmer amaranth woke up farmers at an Illinois field day.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:39PM CDT 08/16/12 by Pam Smith | Post a Comment
Comments (3)
Glyphosate resistance to non-native Palmer Amaranth has been a growing issue for nearly a decade or more. Native to the desert SW, it's presence in the N Central plains is something that should be investigated on it's own merits. However, 2,4-D, in use in Nebraska for nearly a decade is also showing signs of resistance, as this article from the Chicago Tribune discusses: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-15/business/sns-rt-us-usa-agriculture-weedsbre87e134-20120815_1_waterhemp-herbicide-crop-production. Stacking these additional traits seems to be fostering resistance even faster than it developed for Glyphosate, but again, Palmer Amaranth, a plainly desert plant, "suddenly appearing" in Illinois, is odd to say the least. It's a veritable disaster in your field, particularly the resistant varieties, which are denser, tougher and more voracious a glutton for soil nutrients than Pigweed 1.0 was.
Posted by Ric Ohge at 10:18AM CDT 08/17/12
Are there possible uses for this plant such as biomass production or feed value?
Posted by Darle Baker at 8:47PM CDT 09/07/12
Darle--An internet search turns up that researchers at New Mexico State University have looked and perhaps are still looking at the amaranthus species as a possible biomass crop. I'm guessing Palmer would be problematic in most areas though because it has both male and female plants and possible spread by pollen would make growing it near any commercial agricultural areas very unlikely/unpopular...just me thinking aloud here. As for feed, I believe nitrates can build up in it quickly when it is in highly fertile environments. It appears it is a crop that can be/has been consumed, but again...it seems to have such a noxious weed status that encouraging it as crop seems unlikely.
Posted by Pamela Smith at 8:49AM CDT 09/09/12
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