Two upcoming field days will address the use of alfalfa as a cover crop and as an effective weapon in the ongoing war against Palmer amaranth, commonly known as pigweed.


On Monday, Sept. 9, agronomists and researchers with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will present the first of the two events at the James Farm, located at 4511 Arkansas 304, east of Pocahontas. The second event, rescheduled from an earlier date this summer, will be held Friday, Sept. 20, at Washington Springs Ag, located at 175A County Road 324, near Cherry Valley.


Herbicide-resistant pigweed can be a costly problem for farmers. Historically, crop rotation with a forage crop was used to break up disease and weed cycles. As the weed becomes increasingly unphased by available chemistries, some growers may find that reuniting with an older approach may be the new tool they’ve been seeking.


John Jennings, extension forage specialist for the Division of Agriculture and the primary investigator for this research, said the use of alfalfa as a high quality hay crop is being tested for efficacy in the escalating war against pigweed.


“There is no pigweed that can stand up to being mowed every 30 days, when alfalfa hay is harvested,” Jennings said.


The two upcoming field days will give Arkansas growers the opportunity to learn about whether this approach may be a good fit for their respective farms.


Discussion topics include pigweed biology and control, economics and alfalfa planting and management. All interested crop and livestock producers are encouraged to attend one or both field days.


To register and help with meal planning, please call Linda McCargo at 501-671-2171. There is no cost to attend.


To learn about weed control in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.