Pigweed Hurting Crops In 26 Illinois Counties
By Jeff Bossert
An expert at the University of Illinois says a crop-killing weed has made its way into 26 counties, including places around Champaign.
U of I Crop Science Specialist Aaron Hager said the origins of palmer ameranth go back as far as 200 years in some states. It’s causing losses in corn yield nearing 80 percent, and soybean losses exceeding 90 percent, but he says the weed has impacted all kinds of crops.
Hager said it’s developed a resistance to glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in corn and beans.
He said there’s no one tactic to control the weed through the growing season.
"Our concern is that when these populations migrate into Illinois’ seed, they’re very likely that they’re already going to be glyphosate resistant when the plants grow here in Illinois," he said. "And so without much prior experience with Palmer, this is our concern – it’s going to catch a lot of people off guard.”
Hager suggests marking areas where palmer ameranth has produced seed, scouting those areas intensively next spring, and to avoid using harvesting equipment on mature plants of the weed – rather, pulling them and burying them in garden bags.
In East Central Illinois, Palmer amaranth has been found in Champaign, Iroquois, and Macon Counties.