Palmer Amaranth Found in Minnesota Feed Screenings

Noxious weeds such as Palmer amaranth can be spread via manure from cattle fed feed screening. ( Farm Journal, Inc. )

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) reports that it has found the invasive weed Palmer Amaranth in grain and seed screenings used for feed in Red Wood County in western Minnesota. 


Some screenings contained as many as 250 Palmer amaranth seeds per pound of screenings. MDA officials determined the invasive weed made its way into a soybean field via cattle manure. The cattle had been fed screenings from contaminated sunflower seed, say MDA officials.


“The newly discovered path for Palmer amaranth shows the difficulty in stopping the spread of invasive weeds,” says Thom Petersen, MDA ag commissioner.


Palmer amaranth was first discovered in Minnesota in 2016 when it was found in six counties. Since then, due to eradication efforts, it has not been found in at any more sites since then.


MDA officials urge farmers to be watchful for the weed. Palmer amaranth can grow 2 – 3” per day, reach heights of 6 to 8’ or more, and one plant can produce 100,000 to 500,000 seeds. It is resistant to multiple herbicides and can cause substantial yield loss to corn and soybeans.


Palmer amaranth is listed as a Prohibited Weed Seed in Minnesota, meaning its seed is not allowed for sale in the state. It is also on Minnesota’s Prohibited Noxious Weed Eradicate List, which requires both above and below ground plant parts be destroyed. Transportation, propagation or sale of the plant is prohibited.