Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Articles written by Shane Blair

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  • December Weed of the Month: Pigweeds

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Dec 14, 2022

    Pigweeds are a widespread genus of plants (Amaranthus) that are comprised of roughly 75 species across six continents. Pigweeds are herbaceous annuals or short-lived perennials that can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds. Some pigweed species are used for ornamental reasons or food, while others are considered noxious weeds. Pigweeds, such as loves lies bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus), are grown as an ornamental in garden beds or along borders. They have a drooping flowering head that is...

  • June Weed of the Month: MDA Report a Pest System & Palmer Amaranth

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Jul 1, 2022

    It's weed season and with it comes the importance of being aware of invasive plants in the field. For example, Palmer amaranth is a fast-growing annual weed that is detrimental to row crops and can add higher production costs to farmers already dealing with high input costs. Palmer amaranth has developed resistance to multiple classes of herbicides and their different modes of action, making it very difficult and expensive to control. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) considers...

  • April Weed of the Month: Habitat Restoration

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Apr 12, 2021

    Habitat loss is one of the most important causes of species decline in the United States. More and more people are looking to restore parts of their property, or their entire property, back to a natural setting. This is great news for native plants, insects, birds, and other wildlife that rely on native habitats for survival. However, this can be an intimidating process for folks that are new to the concepts of landscape restoration and unsure about what is native and what is considered invasive or noxious. To successfully restore habitat, one...

  • August Weed of the Month: An Update on Palmer Amaranth After Years of Treatment in Minnesota

    Shane Blair, , Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Aug 5, 2020

    Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) was first found in Minnesota in 2016. Since then, small infestations have been documented along with identified pathways. Palmer amaranth was originally brought into the state via a contaminated conservation seed mix and was planted in 34 plantings across Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties. Those plantings were surveyed and plants were identified. Walking through each individual planting helped the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) understand the...

  • November Weed of the Month: Weeds that Impact Hunters

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Nov 6, 2019

    When hunting, weeds are often an afterthought or not thought of at all. Unfortunately, weeds can have a negative impact on wild game if ignored and not managed in a timely manner. Weedy species can also be burdensome to hunters. Some noxious weeds that pose problems for hunters and wild game are Japanese barberry, Oriental bittersweet, buckthorn, and multiflora rose. These four noxious weeds pose different threats but have some similar characteristics: • They take over the understory of w...

  • April Weed of the Month: Japanese Hops

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Apr 11, 2019

    When you hear the word "hops," you might think of beer. Hops are used in beer production to add bitter, floral, fruity, or citric flavors and essential oils for preservation. However, Japanese hops (Humulus japonicus) lack an essential resin for beer production. Common hops (H. lupulus) are a similar native species and can be used for beer production. Introduced to North America as ornamental vines, Japanese hops are native to eastern Asia. Unfortunately, Japanese hops escaped cultivation and...

  • April Weed of the Month: Why Scout for Herbicide Resistant Weeds?

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Apr 2, 2018

    A growing problem that is costing farmers more money each year is herbicide resistant weeds. The primary driver for resistant weeds comes from the repeated use of the same herbicide with the same mode of action year after year. What can be done? Scouting for herbicide resistant weeds throughout the growing season and even when harvest time comes around can be very beneficial. The earlier the detection, the more time there is allotted to eliminate the plant or patch by mowing, hand removal,...

  • March Weed of the Month: Resources for Weed Identification and Management

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Mar 6, 2018

    Throughout Minnesota, new noxious weeds present themselves. Some become very problematic for landowners and managers. Weeds can be found growing around a home setting, in community areas, and in a variety of natural habitats on both public and private lands. When weeds invade native landscapes, they reduce biological diversity and degrade habitats. Identifying weeds can be a challenging and daunting task, especially when you are not familiar with plants. In addition to published weed books,...

  • January Weed of the Month: Torching Noxious Weeds

    Shane Blair, Minnesota Department of Agriculture|Jan 11, 2018

    There are many management tools/strategies that can be used to halt the spread of invasive plants. One tool that is often associated with gardening is the propane weed torch. It kills weeds organically, effectively, and selectively. Watching the plant burn to a crisp using a torch can also be satisfying! Torching will kill most annual weeds, but for perennial and woody vegetation, repeated torching is often needed to control regrowth. In addition to managing weeds, there are ecological benefits...