Resistant pigweed and the challenge it presents to Wiregrass farmers

News

HEADLAND, Ala. (WDHN) — Palmer Amaranth, better known as pig weed, is a resistant spiny weed that is causing problems for farmers in the Wiregrass.

To get rid of the pigweed, farmers spend between $75 to $100 on the necessary pesticides to kill this resistant pest.

“This weed has become a problem in our herbicide programs because it is resistant to everything we use over cotton,” County Extension Coordinator of Henry County, Jimmy Jones said.

Pigweed has over one million seeds. And it can make killing them a tough test for farmers in the Wiregrass.

“Try to control this weed in peanuts because it’s harder to control financially in cotton,” Jones said.

Farmers spend between $600 to $650 per acre for peanuts, and they spend $700 to $750 per acre for cotton.

So farmers are finding ways to lower the number of pigweed seeds that are entering the soil.

“So by turning the soil we get rid of half of them,” Jones said. “Only half though, so we still have 500,000 pigweed seeds that can come up over a 20 year period.”

Pigweed is also a weed that isn’t the easiest to pull out of the ground.

“The roots, this is a perennial weed,” Jones said. “The roots will break off and it’s kind of like a potato. It’s got enough residual perennial root. That it will come back up.”

Pigweed can grow up to six feet tall and takes up space in the peanut and cotton fields.

Jones says for farmers to catch the weed early in its growth because the taller the pigweed gets, the tougher it is to kill.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories