The first confirmed case of Palmer amaranth was recently confirmed in Iowa, near the Missouri River in Harrison County. The weed has had a big impact on crop production for farmers in the southeastern U.S. Harrison County Extension program coordinator Rich Pope says it was just a matter of time before Palmer amaranth showed up in Iowa.
“It’s been found in several places in Missouri and Kansas, and a couple of counties in Nebraska as well,” Pope says. “It’s not a surprise that it’s here, it’s just something that we need to be aware of and try to manage because it can pose some potential problems because of the ability it has to escape some of our management techniques if we don’t pay attention.”
Although it’s visibly different, Pope says Palmer amaranth can easily be mistaken for a similar weed – waterhemp. Pope says, while controlling the weed can be a challenge, it is not insurmountable. But he says it takes a good weed management plan.
“One of the biggest management things is to clean equipment between fields, especially if you’re in an area that’s confirmed to have Palmer amaranth,” Pope says. “The transport of a little seed from field to field…if we can stop that, that will help a lot with stopping the spread.”
An informational meeting on identifying and controlling Palmer amaranth will be held Thursday at noon at the Harrison County Maintenance Shed, just south of Modale.