Palmer Amaranth, a Weed Threatening Farmers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Palmer Amaranth, a Weed Threatening Farmers

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- There's a growing problem around the country and here on Delmarva, and it is a weed called Palmer Amaranth. 

This weed is fairly new for some farmers and one of the most difficult to get rid of--especially for those growing soybeans. Farmers say it is an aggressive type of weed that is showing growing resistance to certain herbicides. 

Now, specialists from the University of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia Tech are holding workshops to provide farmers with the necessary tools to overcome herbicide resistant weeds. 

The Maryland Soybean Board is also in partnership with the workshops.

“If weeds are identified in their earliest stages, we can make a plan to control them before they overtake a field,” stated Brian Johnson, chair of the MSB Research Committee. “We are investing in research to assist farmers in combating the issue and improving yields on the farm, and then relaying that information to the farmers," they said in a release. 

A meeting was held today at the University of Maryland's Somerset Extension Office. Farmers said the workshop was needed to yield better crops. 

"I think it's a good sign that we're trying to be proactive as opposed to reactive. You know, different farmers have different weed issues so everyone's in a different scenario," Shane King, a local farmer in Princess Anne said. 

Other farmers like Andy Cooper said he's dealt with Palmer Amaranth, and he benefited greatly from the workshop.

"Palmer Amaranth, now that's the worst one," Cooper said.

Specialists say by using the same herbicides on crops, or not rotating your crops enough can cause weeds like Palmer Amaranth to grow more and more resistant. They also explained that using common herbicides will not get rid of this weed, which may hurt yields significantly. 

"Round up, which everyone uses, and most on the Eastern shore uses it because it's the cheapest. You keep using it and using it and using it and the weeds aren't getting controlled," Cooper said. 

Specialists said at the meeting cover crop will also improve soil health as well as weed control. 

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