Clay County farmers now battle pigweed, mother nature

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - It's that time of year for many farmers to begin spreading out pre-emergence herbicide

But the infamous pigweed plant is resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, which makes it tough to get rid of.

According to Clay County Extension Agent Andy Vangilder, this could be the most plaguing pest in recent years.

"We got to change our way of thinking. We gotta get ready for it. It's here in most counties and the counties it's not in, they need to prepare for it because it's coming their way."

Mother Nature has been less than cooperative.

Over eight inches of rain have fallen so far this month.

That's around three times the normal November amount.

Another inch is possible this weekend.

"Anytime you get heavy rainfall with flooding that comes out of the ditches and things like that, there is a potential, there is a potential for that weed to spread."

Each pigweed plant produces hundreds of seeds that can float off with the flood water, taking root miles away by early spring.

"The ditches that the pigweeds were in or they were in another field that had them really heavy, the water floods in that field and carries it from one field to another."

Vangilder adds that most farmers have done a great job controlling pigweed, spraying cotton and soybean fields and many other crops before growth starts.

"They're also spraying turn-rows, ditches, around the equipment. But we're also having to chop these fields two and some three times."

Vangilder commends Region 8 farmers for fighting pigweed throughout the year.

"Those guys have done a good job of getting those things out, getting the turn rows clean, trying to reduce the seed source."

Copyright 2011 KAIT.  All rights reserved