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.
While most concern focuses on Palmer amaranth in agronomic
cropping systems, keep in mind that Palmer amaranth also can
become established in noncrop areas. Palmer amaranth populations
in noncrop environments obviously do not compete with agronomic
crops, but these established plants can produce seeds that
ultimately find their way into crop production fields.
We recently verified the identification of a Palmer amaranth
population growing in an area enrolled in the Pollinator Habitat
Initiative of the Conservation Reserve Program. The origin of
this population remains unknown, but some speculate the forb
seed mixture purchased to sow the pollinator area might have
been contaminated with Palmer amaranth seed. Regardless of how
and where a Palmer amaranth population becomes established, it
remains critically important to take all appropriate steps to
prevent established Palmer amaranth plants from producing seed.
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We strongly encourage all who have established pollinator habitats
with a purchased forb seed mixture to scout these areas as soon as
possible. If Palmer amaranth is identified, please take steps to
remove these plants before viable seeds are produced on the female
plants. Plants should be severed at or below the soil surface and
carried out of the field. Severed plants can root at the stem if
left on the soil surface, and plants can regenerate from stems
severed above the soil surface.
Please contact your local County FSA Office with questions.
[USDA Farm Service Agency]
As published in the Bulletin; a U of
I pest management and crop development online publication–http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/?p=3700