Palmer amaranth might be added to South Dakota’s prohibited noxious weeds

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The public comment period has closed on proposed rules that would place Palmer amaranth on South Dakota’s prohibited noxious-weeds list.

The changes under way also would:

Move quackgrass from a prohibited noxious weed to the less-offensive category of restricted noxious weed;

Clarify that no presence of prohibited noxious weed seed is allowable in seed; and

Reduce the maximum allowable presence of restricted noxious weed seeds to one percent by weight from the current two percent.

State Agriculture Secretary Kim Vanneman held a public hearing July 1. The public-comment period ended Tuesday, July 10.

The next step is seeking final clearance from the Legislature’s Rules Review Committee. That meeting is scheduled for August 12.

A 2018 master’s thesis by South Dakota State University graduate student Brian Van De Stroet concluded, “Palmer amaranth has established in South Dakota due to seed spread and will continue to be a weed species to contend with in crop production.”

State Rep. John Lake, R-Gettysburg, and Sen. Justin Cronin, R-Gettysburg, introduced legislation in January that sought to classify Palmer amaranth as a prohibited noxious weed in South Dakota. The state Agriculture Department subsequently proposed the rule change.

A North Dakota State University study released in May reported that Palmer amaranth and waterhemp are types of “difficult to control” pigweeds.

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