Pigweed Update: 4 Tips For Curtailing Palmer Amaranth Movement

The known distribution of Palmer amaranth in Illinois based on 2012–2013 surveys by university weed scientists.
The known distribution of Palmer amaranth in Illinois based on 2012–2013 surveys by university weed scientists.

Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) has garnered much attention recently in both academic discussions and popular press releases, and with good reason. Among the weedy species of Amaranthus, Palmer amaranth has the fastest growth rate and is the most competitive with the crops common to Midwest agronomic cropping systems. Soybean yield losses approaching 80% and corn yield losses exceeding 90% have been reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, reports the University of Illinois-Extension’s Aaron Hager.

Palmer amaranth can be effectively managed in Illinois agronomic crops, but the greatest likelihood for successful management is with systems that employ multiple effective management tactics. Palmer amaranth is perhaps the personification of a weed species that requires an integrated management approach.

Unlike waterhemp, Palmer amaranth is not indigenous to Illinois. Palmer amaranth evolved as a desert-dwelling species in the southwestern United States, including areas of the Sonoran Desert. However, genotypic and phenotypic adaptability have allowed Palmer amaranth to expand its distribution and colonize the vastly different agricultural landscapes across much of the eastern half of the United States. The presence of Palmer amaranth in agricultural landscapes of the eastern United States is perceived by some to be only a recent phenomenon, but Dr. Jonathan Sauer, noted expert of Amaranthus taxonomy, noted in 1957 that, “It looks as if there has been recent and substantial northeastward expansion of A. palmeri resulting in its present wide area of cohabitation with interior species,” (Sauer 1957).

Will Palmer amaranth populations, likely introduced by seeds moved into Illinois from areas where Palmer amaranth has become the dominant pigweed species, be able to adapt to the landscape and growing conditions of Illinois? Perhaps a more important question is to define the damage niche of Palmer amaranth populations in Illinois agronomic cropping systems.

Recent research conducted in Illinois by Dr. Adam Davis, USDA-ARS plant ecologist at the University of Illinois, has examined these important questions. Results from these experiments have demonstrated that there are few landscape-level barriers to the establishment of Palmer amaranth populations in Illinois, and that these populations, once established, are competitive with crop species. In other words, these results indicate that it’s not a question of if Palmer amaranth will become established in Illinois, but rather when and where it will become established.

Similar to female waterhemp plants, female Palmer amaranth plants produce an abundance of seeds. These small black seeds are easily moved within and between fields in myriad ways, including harvesting and tillage equipment. If you identify Palmer amaranth in one or more fields, what can you do this fall to limit movement of the seed?

The following four suggestions were developed by weed scientists in Illinois to help curtail the movement of Palmer amaranth seed:

  1. Fields with Palmer amaranth populations should be the last fields harvested this fall and the last fields planted next spring.
  2. Mark or flag areas where Palmer amaranth plants have produced seed. These areas should be intensively scouted the following season and an aggressive Palmer amaranth management plan implemented to prevent future seed production.
  3. Do not mechanically harvest mature Palmer amaranth plants with crop harvesting equipment. Physically remove the plants immediately prior to harvest and either leave the plants in the field or place in a sturdy garden bag and remove the plants from the field. Bury or burn the bags in a burn barrel as soon as possible.
  4. Fields in which Palmer amaranth seeds were produced should NOT be tilled during the fall or following spring. Leaving the seeds near the soil surface increases the opportunities for seed predation by various granivores.

It’s not too early to begin planning an integrated Palmer amaranth management program. An integrated herbicide program should include soil-residual herbicides applied at full recommended use rates within two weeks of planting and followed by postemergence herbicides applied before Palmer amaranth plants exceed 3 inches tall. Most herbicides that control waterhemp also control Palmer amaranth, but successful, long-term management of Palmer amaranth in Illinois will likely require more than herbicides.

SOURCE: Aaron Hager, University Of Illinois-Extension, The Bulletin

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More
Mature Waterhemp in Corn
HerbicidesGenetic Literacy Project: There’s No Such Thing A…
April 17, 2015
Read the latest “analysis” on GMOs from Consumer Reports and you’ll “learn” that glyphosate, the chemical developed by Monsanto (its Read More
HerbicidesNew Resistance To 2,4-D Discovered In Australia
April 17, 2015
In a world-first case of herbicide resistance, researchers have confirmed that sowthistle weed in the south east of South Australia Read More
ManagementNews From RTP Company Visits and Growers Buying Older S…
April 16, 2015
Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss recent trips to the Research Triangle Park area and market seed sales trends. Read More
soybean field
StewardshipNew ASABE Standard Establishes Framework For Sustainabl…
April 16, 2015
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has initiated a project to develop a new standard to establish Read More
MicronutrientsSouthern States: An Inside Look At Our Tissue Sampling …
April 15, 2015
Remember learning about the food pyramid in school? The nutritional diagram recommends the proper amount of nutrients you need on Read More
Industry NewsArysta Adds New U.S. Fungicides Marketing Manager
April 15, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently hired Deneen Sebastian as its Marketing Manager for U.S. Row Crops, Fungicides. Most recently, Sebastian Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Launches Phosphite-Based Cereal Fungicide
April 14, 2015
A new, phosphite-based fungicide designed for improved suppression of deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat and barley infected by Fusarium head blight Read More
Mature Waterhemp in Corn
HerbicidesSURVEY: Close To 90% Of Growers Battle Weed Resistance
April 14, 2015
Herbicide resistance management continues to be a priority for corn and soybean growers, and they’re working together more effectively to Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
StewardshipFMC Corp. Joins Sustainable Agriculture Alliance
April 14, 2015
FMC Corp. has joined Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a multi-stakeholder initiative working to define, measure and Read More
Industry NewsArysta Adds Two To Goëmar Sales Team
April 14, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced two new additions to the Goëmar sales team: Steve Kelly, Technical Service Manager – Read More
Valley Variable Rate Irrigation
Precision AgVariable Rate Irrigation Gains Followers
April 14, 2015
Irrigation systems have had the ability to apply different amounts of water throughout a field for decades, using timers that Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Gr…
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsThree Ag Co-ops Poised For Possible Merger
April 13, 2015
Following months of study and preparations, the Board of Directors for United Farmers Coop (UFC), Farmers Elevator Cooperative (FEC) and Read More
Eric SfiligojAgriculture Braces For More Belt-Tightening
April 13, 2015
Spring is in full bloom across the U.S. and ag retailers and their grower-customers are busily getting into high gear. Read More
ManagementPollinator Health and Washington, DC
April 9, 2015
CropLife America’s Kellie Bray speaks with CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj regarding bee health and proposed Beltway regulations. Read More
InsecticidesValent Takes On MGK Insecticide Portfolio
April 9, 2015
As of April 1, Valent U.S.A. Corp. became the exclusive provider of the MGK crop protection line of insect control Read More