Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM) crews trained in identification and management of target species treat known infestations. This project provides many unique opportunities for crew members and gives them valuable skills working with invasive plants. It also provides opportunities for members to collaborate and create new relationships with fellow AmeriCorps members and natural resource professionals.
Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) was added to the ETIPS project in fall of 2016 after infestations were confirmed in Western Minnesota. A native of arid conditions of the southwestern United States, it produces abundant seed and grows rapidly when water is available. Palmer amaranth has also developed resistance to multiple classes of herbicides and has caused extensive corn and soybean losses in many areas of the United States.
With the infrastructure in place from the ETIPS grant, MDA and CCM were able to move quickly to organize initial treatments on Palmer amaranth infestations in fall 2016. Mapping, site assessments, and landowner agreements were completed, and trained CCM crews used propane torches to burn seeds and plants. Long term management plans were developed that include multiple control strategies to prevent the Palmer amaranth populations from developing herbicide resistance.