The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that Palmer Amaranth was identified early this fall in Red Wood County. Genetic testing of four weeds in the field confirmed they were Palmer Amaranth. MDA staff have scouted fields within five miles of the soybean field and have not found any other plants. At this point MDA staff have not determined how the Palmer Amaranth seed found its way to a field in Minnesota.

Palmer Amaranth is in the same family as Waterhemp. That is a weed many farmers are having a difficult time controlling. Palmer Amaranth has been described as Waterhemp on steroids. It can grow 2 to 3 inches a day and one female plant can produce 100,000 to 500,000 seeds!. We do not want to have to deal with Palmer Amaranth!

Palmer Amaranth is listed as a Prohibited Weed Seed and is on Minnesota's Prohibited Noxious Weed Eradicate List. This means no seed is allowed in Minnesota and if found all above and below ground parts of the plant must be destroyed. The weed is native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has been found in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The University of Minnesota Crops Team reminds farmers to keep an eye out for Palmer Amaranth from the combine cab this fall. There is an easy way to identify Palmer Amaranth as the weed looks a lot like Waterhemp or even Pig Weed. Typically Palmer Amaranth is much bigger and the petiole is longer than the leaf. The petiole is the small stem connecting the leaf to the main stem. If you suspect you may have a Palmer Amaranth weed in your field call your agronomist, your local extension office or the MDA!