"Superweed" spreading through Wall

"Superweed" spreading through Wall

A so-called "superweed", an adapted strain of pigweed, is spreading through cotton fields around Wall. This adapted strain was first reported in August 2013.
 (Stephanie Garland)
(Stephanie Garland)
 (Stephanie Garland)
(Stephanie Garland)
 (Stephanie Garland)
(Stephanie Garland)
A so-called "superweed", an adapted strain of pigweed, is spreading through cotton fields around Wall. This adapted strain was first reported in August 2013.

Over the past year, experts said they are hearing more frequently reports of this weed. At first, officials with the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center could personal oversee each case. Now, that is near impossible.

Pigweed, a hard to kill, fast-growing weed, is threatening cotton farmers', like Douglas Wilde's, livelihoods.

"If we don't focus on weed control and be able to control this, it will become an outbreak," said Wilde.

For decades, West Texas cotton farmers have had the weed under control. Yet, over time, pigweed has adapted to herbicides used to kill it.

"This weed, in other places and now in Tom Green County and in other parts of West Texas has adapted to it and there are certain genetics in this weed that do not respond to roundup," stated Extension Agronomist, David Drake.

This so called superweed, pigweed, is only a month old and it is already pretty tall. In approximately a couple of months, it can get to be as tall as six feet. It can also produce half-a-million seeds.

"This is a wild fire situation; so, I would recommend that a weed like this be removed from the field and don't take any chances that it would leave seeds," explained Drake.

Drake recommends farmers rotate crops annually, change chemicals, and even pull weeds by hand.

Wilde family members have farmed land in this area for five generations and will do everything they can to preserve it.

"The land is something that's passed down from generation to generation and, you know, my grandfather, their father, you know, they worked hard to give us something special and we want to do the same for our generations, the next generations," finished Wilde.
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