Palmer amaranth Seeds in Manure – What Can You Do?
There are several ways seeds of Palmer amaranth can be introduced into your fields. Manure is one of them. Specifically, Palmer amaranth seeds that contaminate animal feed may survive digestion; and when that manure is spread onto cropland, those seeds may germinate. This article provides some answers on four topics:
- Overview of Palmer amaranth in Nebraska;
- Reducing Palmer amaranth seed in feed;
- Reducing Palmer amaranth seed in manure; and
- Field application of contaminated manure.
Herbicide-Resistant Palmer amaranth in Nebraska:
Palmer amaranth infestation is increasing in soybean and corn fields (Figure 1) in eastern Nebraska and several other crops such as dry bean and sugarbeet in the Nebraska Panhandle.
Figure 1. Glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in soybean field (top) in south central Nebraska and atrazine/ALS inhibitors/ glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in corn field (right) near Carleton, NE (Photos by Amit Jhala).
Palmer amaranth, a member of the pigweed (Amaranthaceae) family, is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is a small seeded broad leaf weed and is a relatively new weed in Nebraska. Historically, common weeds from the pigweed family reported to occur in Nebraska are tumble pigweed (Amaranthus albus L.), prostrate pigweed (Amaranthus graecizans L.), redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), and common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis Sauer) (Stubbendieck et al. 1994). They are usually found throughout Nebraska in dry prairies, cultivated and fallow fields, and roadside, industrial, and waste places (Stubbendieck et al. 1994). Palmer amaranth has been identified in the last few years in several North Central states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois, which has raised concerns among weed scientists and growers about the spread of this species into areas not previously reported. Because of its rapid growth, ability for prolific seed production, and ability to evolve herbicide-resistance, Palmer amaranth can be hard to control in agronomic crop fields (Chahal and Jhala 2018b).
Palmer amaranth has evolved resistant to several groups of herbicides in Nebraska, including glyphosate (Table 1). Additionally, some Palmer amaranth populations are resistant to multiple herbicides such as atrazine and HPPD-inhibitors. Therefore, growers should pay attention to management of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth as well as follow the best practices to reduce weed seed dissemination (Chahal and Jhala 2018).
Amaranthas palmeri weed seed growth
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Influence of Planting Date on Growth of Palmer Amaranth ( Amaranthus palmeri )
Palmer amaranth ( Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. # AMAPA) planted in a field at monthly intervals from March through October at Shafter, CA, began to emerge in March when soil temperatures at a depth of 5 cm reached 18 C. With the exception of March and April plantings, at least 50% of the seed of later plantings produced seedlings within 2 weeks after planting. Although growth of plants was initially slower for early plantings, plantings from March to July reached 2 m or greater in height by fall. Due to longer growing times, plantings from March to June eventually produced more dry matter and a greater number of inflorescences than later plantings. Plants began flowering 5 to 9 weeks after planting in March through June and 3 to 4 weeks after planting in July through October. Some viable seed was produced as early as 2 to 3 weeks after flowering began. Total seed production in the fall ranged from 200 000 to 600 000 seed/plant for the March through June plantings, and 115 to 80 000 seed/plant for the July through September plantings. Killing frosts in November prevented Palmer amaranth planted in October from producing seed.
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