The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is investigating the source of a Palmer amaranth plant found growing in Jackson County.
In early September, a farmer noticed a suspicious weed in the first few rows of a soybean field adjacent to a utility field road. The weed had survived an herbicide treatment making initial identification difficult. The farmer then contacted the University of Minnesota Extension which submitted the plant for genetic identification. The test has confirmed it was Palmer amaranth. MDA staff have scouted fields in the area and have not found any other Palmer plants. The MDA is investigating where the Palmer amaranth seed came from.
“This is another case illustrating the effective collaborations established between the MDA, U of M Extension, crop consultants, and farmers throughout the state for locating and reporting Palmer amaranth,” said Mark Abrahamson, MDA’s Director of Plant Protection. “We continue to urge farmers and landowners to become familiar with what Palmer amaranth looks like and to immediately contact the MDA, Extension, or a crop consultant for help if they suspect Palmer amaranth on their property.”
Since 2016, the invasive weed has now been found in six Minnesota counties. In addition to this latest find in Jackson County, the MDA confirmed the weed in a Redwood County soybean field last week. It was also discovered in conservation plantings in Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties in 2016, and Todd and Douglas counties in 2017. However, after eradication treatments, Palmer amaranth has not been found at any sites in those four counties during 2018.
Palmer amaranth is listed as a Prohibited Weed Seed. This means no Palmer amaranth is allowed in any seed offered for sale in the state. It is also on Minnesota’s Prohibited Noxious Weed Eradicate List. All above and below ground parts of the plant must be destroyed. Also, no transportation, propagation, or sale of this plant is allowed.
If anyone suspects Palmer amaranth, they can contact the MDA through the Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palmer amaranth is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has been found in over half of the states, and along with Minnesota, it has been found in the neighboring states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Margaret Hart, MDA Communications