North Dakota officials are keeping an eye on two potentially troublesome weeds as they take public comments on whether to amend the list of the state’s most problematic plants.
A weed strong enough to stop combines and resist many herbicides has been confirmed in South Dakota for the first time, raising concerns it could spread and cut deeply into crop production in the Upper Midwest — one of the few areas it hadn’t yet invaded.
It’s a beast of a weed, creeping north into the Midwest from cotton country. Palmer amaranth can shoot up as high as 7 feet, and just one plant can produce up to a million seeds. Herbicide is increasingly futile against it, and the weed’s thick stems and deep roots make it hard work to clear by hand.