If you’ve been using sunflower screenings in cattle feed, monitor for Palmer amaranth. Two reports of the noxious weed were confirmed on cattle farms in western North Dakota last week. NDSU Extension Weed Specialist Joe Ikley is cautioning cattle producers. “For those who have had sunflower screenings delivered in the last 12 months, check around where cattle were fed or piles of feed were delivered. It’s easy to identify Palmer this time of the year. We don’t want all of that Palmer amaranth going to seed in crop fields.” This time of the year, farmers can look at the seed heads to identify Palmer amaranth. “Palmer would generally have a long, terminal spike seed head, anywhere from one to three feet long. The female plants would be prickly. On some of the sites, we’ve noticed the male plants are still pollinating. The seed heads of the male plants look very yellow, because of all of that pollen.” This is not the first time Palmer amaranth has come from sunflower screenings in North Dakota.
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