Palmer Amaranth is a robust weed that continues to expand into the Midwest and throughout Indiana. It invaded a handful of counties in Indiana a handful of years ago, but has progressed into over a third of the state. If your operation might be at risk then some attention to the problem might be in order this fall, according to Dan Childs with Monsanto.
“It’s typically found more around these livestock operations where they’ve maybe brought in some of the Palmer from the south in some of their feed rations, but it is a very aggressive weed. We’re having to hit it from all sides, basically looking at residual herbicides, maybe even fall applications with a residual. Certainly rotating to corn is going to be a big player here because we can do a lot of things in corn for Palmer that we cannot in soybeans. So it’s going to take a lot of effort, a lot of management.”
He says Palmer can produce a million seeds per plant and the pollen can spread a long distance.
“It could end up being a train wreck on your farm if you’re not proactive,” Childs told HAT.
Proactive in this case means getting rid of the weed and as large as it can grow, that might mean actually chopping it down.
“Unfortunately now there are areas where it just comes to that, hand removal. I did that back in the 50’s on our farm with a hoe, but that’s where we’re at with this weed. If there’s two or three plants left in a field, that’s not good enough because we know they’ll produce a lot of seed.”
Childs says a weed that typically germinates in the fall of the year is marestail.
“This is another weed that we have some glyphosate resistance to and one of the management strategies is to hit it in the fall. That’s when it’s very vulnerable, it’s small, it’s in the rosette stage and some farmers are going after it in the fall with dicamba, 2,4-D, Roundup. You know you don’t have to have a lot of money invested into a fall application and still have success.”
For the future of weed control, Childs talks about the new Roundup Ready Xtend crop system in a special HAT video: