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More Palmer amaranth suspected in North Dakota fields

Palmer amaranth towers over a row of soybeans just outside of North Platte, Neb., on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. Nick Nelson / Forum News Service

FARGO — The noxious weed palmer amaranth is suspected in fields in McIntosh County, near the site where the weed was discovered in August in south-central North Dakota.

North Dakota State University Extension, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and others scouted and destroyed the plants from the fields and will continue to monitor the area. The state is awaiting DNA test results to confirm whether the weeds are palmer amaranth.

The extension office and state are asking the public to work with local weed officers, extension agents and other experts to identify and report suspect plants. Palmer amaranth may spread through multiple channels, including: contaminated seed mixes, equipment and machinery movement, animal feed and bedding and wild birds. Officials do not believe the weeds originated from contaminated seed mixes.

With harvest season around the corner, farmers are encouraged to scout fields and clean excess dirt and plant debris off equipment between fields to prevent unintentional spread.

NDSU Extension is hosting meetings with area landowners to discuss scouting techniques and how to report the weed.

More information on Palmer amaranth and other noxious and invasive weeds is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/plant-industries/noxious-weeds. To report a suspect plant, contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2250 or North Dakota State University Extension at 701-231-8157 or 701-857-7677.

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