New Pest Alert and Factsheet for Palmer Amaranth

Palmer Amaranth Pest Alert Palmer Amaranth Factsheet

Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) is native to the desert regions of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, and has spread into the Midwest, the East Coast and portions of Canada. Palmer amaranth is a relatively new introduction in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Northwest U.S. Palmer amaranth can be distributed by birds, though livestock feed, manure, grazing, wind, farm equipment, etc. Amaranth expansion was accelerated in 2016 as an unintentional contaminant in some native seed mixes purchased by growers participating in conservation programs.

Palmer amaranth grows 1–3 inches in height per day, up to 6–8 feet tall and occasionally will reach 10 feet or more. Emergence occurs from early May through late summer and a single plant can produce over 200,000 seeds. Compounding the concern over the expansion of this highly aggressive, fast-growing weed is its resistance to herbicides. It is similar to waterhemp in its ability to rapidly evolve resistance to many herbicides used in weed management programs.

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