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Published on Wednesday, October 19, 2016
If you think waterhemp is a pain, hold on to your seat. Here comes its bigger, more aggressive and uglier brother, Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth was first found in Iowa in 2013. Thanks to early identification and management, it was held to five counties. But unfortunately, Palmer amaranth has now been found in 16 Iowa counties.
Keep a vigilant eye for this prolific pest throughout harvest. You may already know that it is closely related to waterhemp, but can you tell them apart? The petioles (branch between the leaf and stalk) of Palmer are often longer than the leaves themselves. Its canopy is often times denser and the stalk is taller and larger in diameter as compared to waterhemp. The clearest indicator from the combine is that Palmer has bigger flowers (tassels) than waterhemp and the females have viciously sharp bracts (thorns). Not my kind of lady!
If you get into a patch of Palmer, I suggest harvesting it last to avoid spreading it throughout the field. If you have a serious infestation of either weed throughout an entire field or fields, contact a Beck’s representative. We can help you create a plan to control these weeds more effectively next year
Author: Greg Shepherd
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