BISMARCK – Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.) have been added to the state noxious weed list.
Palmer amaranth is an aggressive pigweed species similar in appearance to waterhemp and was first found in the state last year. It has now been found in five counties.
Houndstongue, which does not spread aggressively like Palmer amaranth, has been found in North Dakota since at least 1911 but infestations have tripled since 2008. It is now found in at least 25 counties.
“Noxious weeds cause millions of dollars in damage to North Dakota crops and forage, and many additional dollars are spent in both public and private efforts to control these weeds,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “In addition to their agronomic impact, noxious weeds adversely affect rural and urban landscapes, tax revenues, recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat.”
Palmer amaranth may spread through multiple channels, including: contaminated seed mixes; equipment and machinery movement; animal feed and bedding; and wild birds. It is a prolific seed producer that can emerge throughout the growing season. It grows rapidly at 2-3 inches per day in optimum conditions and is prone to herbicide resistance and multiple modes of action. It is a highly invasive weed that can dramatically cut crop yields. Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to scout fields and pastures frequently to monitor.
Houndstongue is spread when its burr-like seeds are picked up by animals or people moving through infested areas. The infestations are most often found near wooded and riparian areas, making it difficult to control. Houndstongue is toxic to livestock if ingested.
The public is urged to work with local weed officers, extension agents and other experts to identify and report suspect plants.
More information on these and other noxious and invasive weeds is available at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/plant-industries/noxious-weeds.