As Palmer spreads, researchers eye sources, genetic changes
The spread of Palmer amaranth in the Midwest may be partly the result of good intentions gone bad.
Escapes from seed bags used in conservation programs are one component in the increasing presence of the troublesome weed, Southern Illinois University weed scientist Karla Gage told growers at a field day here.
“It’s a seed contamination issue, and it is happening throughout the country,” Gage said. “Iowa is particularly hard hit. It is now in areas there that did not have Palmer amaranth.”
The weed seeds are included in collections of grass and broadleaf plant seeds intended for pollinator plantings, cover crops and CRP programs. Gage urges growers, landowners and conservation officials not to curb such plantings.
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