BISMARCK – Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) has been confirmed in Grant County in western North Dakota. An area farmer contacted his county weed officer about suspect plants, who worked with North Dakota State University Extension to submit samples for DNA analysis to the National Agricultural Genotyping Center, where it was confirmed as Palmer amaranth.
Palmer amaranth is native to the southwestern U.S. but was accidentally introduced to other areas and has devastated crops in the South and Midwest. It is a prolific seed producer that can emerge throughout the growing season. It grows rapidly at 2-3 inches per day in optimum conditions and is prone to herbicide resistance and multiple modes of action. It is a highly invasive weed that can dramatically cut crop yields.
“I strongly encourage agricultural producers to monitor millet plantings for Palmer amaranth, as that may be the likely source of infestation,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “With harvest season in full swing, farmers are encouraged to scout fields and clean excess dirt and plant debris off equipment between fields to prevent unintentional spread.”
The public is urged to work with local weed officers, extension agents and other experts to identify and report suspect plants. Palmer amaranth may spread through multiple channels, including: contaminated seed mixes; equipment and machinery movement; animal feed and bedding; and wild birds.
Palmer amaranth was confirmed last year in five counties. Those sites continue to be monitored for Palmer amaranth. More information on Palmer amaranth and other noxious and invasive weeds is available at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/plant-industries/noxious-weeds.
To report a suspect plant, go to https://www.nd.gov/ndda/pa or contact your local county weed officer or North Dakota State University Extension agent.