Arkansas: Fighting Pigweed with Alfalfa? 2 Upcoming Field Days

Alfalfa field. Photo: K-State Research and Extension - Creative Commons

Agronomists with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture are testing an age-old approach to solving a modern-day farming problem: The increasingly prevalent Palmer amaranth, commonly known as pigweed.

Herbicide-resistant pigweed can be a costly problem for farmers. Historically, crop rotation with a forage crop was used to break up disease and weed cycles. As the weed becomes increasingly unphased by available chemistries, some growers may find that reuniting with an older approach may be the new tool they’ve been seeking.

John Jennings, extension forage specialist for the Division of Agriculture and the primary investigator for this research, said the use of alfalfa as a high quality hay crop is being tested for efficacy in the escalating war against pigweed.

“There is no pigweed that can stand up to being mowed every 30 days, when alfalfa hay is harvested,” Jennings said.

Two upcoming field days will give Arkansas growers the opportunity to learn about whether this approach may be a good fit for their respective farms.

The first field day is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 23 at 175A County Road 324, Cherry Valley. The second is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 9 on the James Farm, located at 4511 AR-304, Pocahontas.

Discussion topics include pigweed biology and control, economics and alfalfa planting and management. All interested crop and livestock producers are encouraged to attend one or both field days.

To register and help with meal planning, please call Linda McCargo at 501-671-2171. There is no cost to attend.

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