The invasive weed Palmer Amaranth was identified this week in a field in Lincoln County, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Palmer amaranth is a fast growing weed native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. It has developed resistance to multiple classes of herbicides, making it very difficult and expensive to control. It has a fast growth rate of 2- 3 inches per day and commonly reaches heights of 6- 8 feet, greatly inhibiting crop growth. Yield losses have been up to 91% in corn and 79% in soybean.

Since it was first discovered in the state in 2016, Palmer Amaranth has been found in seven Minnesota counties, including Lincoln. It was discovered in conservation plantings in Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties in 2016, and Todd and Douglas counties in 2017. The MDA confirmed the weed in row crop fields in Redwood and Jackson counties in 2018.

Now is the time when Palmer Amaranth becomes visible in agricultural fields. The MDA is asking farmers, crop consultants, and agronomists to report any suspicious plants to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Arrest the Pest line at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.