More Palmer amaranth suspected in North Dakota

BISMARCK – Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), an aggressive pigweed species similar in appearance to waterhemp, is suspected in additional fields in McIntosh County near the first discovery. North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and others scouted and destroyed the plants from the fields and will continue to scout the area.

“The plants pulled from the nearby fields were very similar to the Palmer amaranth plant found in the first field,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Due to similarities in other amaranth species, we are waiting for a DNA analysis to confirm or deny that these plants were Palmer amaranth.”

The public is urged to work with local weed officers, extension agents and other experts to identify and report suspect plants. Palmer amaranth may spread through multiple channels, including: contaminated seed mixes; equipment and machinery movement; animal feed and bedding; and wild birds.

With harvest season around the corner, farmers are encouraged to scout fields and clean excess dirt and plant debris off equipment between fields to prevent unintentional spread.

“We do not believe the plants originated from contaminated seed mixes in any of these cases,” Goehring said. “We are working with the North Dakota State Seed Department, NDSU Extension and local landowners to identify other sources.”

NDSU Extension is hosting meetings with area landowners to discuss scouting techniques and how to report suspect Palmer finds.

The fields in the area will continue to be monitored and suspect plants will be sent for DNA analysis.

More information on Palmer amaranth and other noxious and invasive weeds is available at

To report a suspect plant, contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at 701-328-2250 or North Dakota State University Extension at 701-231-8157 or 701-857-7677.