Ohio Considered a “Newbie” to Palmer Amaranth


In 2012, Palmer Amaranth made its first appearance in Scioto County, OH. Since then, it has spread through out the state. By late 2016, Palmer was seen in around 19 counties, now the total is 25. “The State of Pigweed,” by Emily Unglesbee, a staff reporter for DTN, explained the road trip Palmer Amaranth has taken to the 7 states dubbed, “the newbies.” Those states include Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One thing us newbies do have is a “northern advantage.” We get a foreshadow of what’s to come, as we learn from the battles the southern states have faced against Palmer for nearly two decades now.

Ohio’s infestations of Palmer have been light, controlled, and isolated. After the weed was found in 2012, our state took immediate action. Educational materials about the weed spread like wild fire. In fact, if you’re reading this, you probably have been to a meeting or read material on becoming aware and alert to Palmer and ways to control the weed. Because of our states efforts, Palmer is not yet spreading through out our state as quickly as we have seen it do in other cases. But, Unglesbee warns the 7 newbie states of already inheriting the mistakes of our predecessors.

Awareness and control is something we can move quickly on, but the Palmer Amaranth species that show up here are arriving from out of state manure and contaminated seed, feed, and equipment. This just means that many of the Palmer that sprouts here is already resistant to multiple herbicides. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the plants resistance. It comes from various locations so some chemicals may work and some may not. Paul Johnson, a South Dakota State University Extension weed science coordinator, said “we don’t know exactly what resistance we have, so people need to go for total eradication– hand pulling.”

There is a full control factor to this way of controlling the weed. In the meantime, our state seems to stay optimistic about our ability to control Palmer. There are many materials out there to learn from on this specific weed and our state has put out some very valuable information should you stumble upon Palmer Amaranth. For a complete Palmer Amaranth Update, check out the youtube video below by Dr. Mark Loux, Agricuture & Crop Science, The Ohio State University.


References: The Ohio State University Extension, DTN The Progressive Farmer

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