Palmer amaranth will cause challenges for forage producers

Populations of Palmer amaranth in Michigan are resistant to glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting herbicides.

Palmer amaranthWhen alfalfa growers consider their worst nightmare for controlling weeds, it’s usually at the time of emergence when weeds will overpower and dominate small seedlings. Palmer amaranth, one of the most difficult weeds to manage in field crop, is a new weed threat for forage producers to add to their nightmare list. One of the reasons this weed is so tough to control is because samples from Michigan have been confirmed resistant to both glyphosate and ALS-inhibiting herbicides. Palmer amaranth is the most competitive and aggressive of the pigweed species.

Michigan State University Extension weed scientist Christy Sprague will be discussing options for controlling Palmer amaranth in alfalfa as one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference held at the MSU Kellogg Center on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Her presentation, “Palmer amaranth — A Management Nightmare in Alfalfa,” will be in the morning session.

The Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference is Michigan’s premier annual forage conference. Forage producers, graziers, custom forage harvesters, agribusiness professionals and other agricultural producers are invited to attend.

The theme of the conference is “Building Soil with Forages.” Producers and agribusinesses will have the opportunity to interact during the extended vendor break in the afternoon. Additional topics include keynote speaker Gabe Brown, a soil health advocate and a pioneer in diverse cover cropping on his farm and family ranch in Bismarck, N.D. Two producer panels will also be held in the afternoon breakout sessions featuring baleage, haylage, dry haying systems and successful styles of beef cattle grazing.

The registration fee is $50 per person if received by Feb. 28. Members of the Michigan Forage Council receive a reduced rate of $40 per person. All early registrants are guaranteed a lunch. Late registrations after Feb. 28 must add $5 per person to the fee. Registration information is available online or at the Osceola County MSU Extension office at 231-832-6139.

The conference is sponsored by the Michigan Forage Council and MSU Extension.

Photo credit: Christy Sprague, MSU

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