Fast-Growing Weed Threatens Iowa Farmers

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

A fast-growing weed that has tormented southern farmers has been found in Iowa.

A gronomists are trying to determine whether the Palmer amaranth weed found in five counties is herbicide resistant. The weed can carry one million seeds and grow up to seven-feet tall.

Agronomists say even a moderate infestation can rob farmers of two-thirds of their corn and soybean yields. That in turn could hurt Iowa agribusinesses. It also means that farmers may have to use more, and potentially more toxic, chemicals to battle the aggressive weed.

Iowa State University agronomy professor Mike Owen says the weed could cause prices to rise for sodas, cereals, fuels and other goods derived from corn.


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