Recent reports from nearby states indicate Palmer amaranth, an aggressive weed, has been found in fields seeded for pollinator habitat. This is cause for concern for Missouri farmers. Palmer amaranth propagates rapidly and is nearly impossible to eradicate once it is established. Historically, its presence in Missouri has been limited to the southeast area of the state.

Missouri farmers need to be made aware that Palmer amaranth has been found in nearby states and take appropriate steps,” said Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. “Producers that have planted pollinator habitat seed should closely monitor their fields. Producers that have seed yet to be planted may want to consider having their seed tested.”

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has promoted the creation of habitat for honey bees and other pollinators because of the important role these species play in agricultural production.  Some USDA programs, such as the Conservation Reserve Program, offer opportunities for farmers to develop pollinator habitat.

“Every precaution needs to be taken to minimize the spread of this incredibly invasive and destructive weed,” concluded Hurst.

Farmers who have questions regarding seed testing are asked to contact the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Farmers who have questions regarding USDA pollinator habitat programs are asked to contact USDA.

Missouri Department of Agriculture Bureau of Feed, Seed and Treated Timber
Stan Cook at (573) 751-4310 or

USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Service
Dwaine Gelnar, State Resource Conservationist, at (573) 876-0908 or email

USDA Farm Service Agency
Allen Powell, Conservation Specialist, at (573) 876-0925 or email