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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers.
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Be on the look out for Palmer Amaranth

I received a phone call from Mark Van Gessel, the Extension Weed Specialist from the University of Delaware (who also serves as our RCE Field Crops Weed Specialist). He was letting me know that they have found several fields in Delaware with Palmer Amaranth in them, and that we should be on the look out for it in New Jersey. At this point we do not have any Palmer Amaranth present in New Jersey that we are aware of.  According to Mark, "It looks a lot like our “typical” pigweeds, but it has no hairs on the stem, often a white watermark on the leaves, long petioles, and long slender seedheads." The concern is that this species is very aggressive, and is referred to as "pigweed on steriods".  It has the ability to be resistant to many different herbicides. It is proving to be a headache to cotton producers across the south. The populations found in Delaware are not herbicide resistant at this point. Dr. Van Gessel notes it is important that we identify it early and aggressively start to manage it before it becomes a problem. The University of Georgia has a fact sheet on the biology of Palmer Amaranth . Kansas State University has a guide to help in identification of Palmer Amaranth .

Bill Bamka