Ensure Weed-Free Inputs

Crop seed has the potential to be contaminated with weed seeds, and can become a potential vector for the spread of weed species to new farms and fields. This includes cash crop seed, cover crop seed, and conservation seed mixes. In some cases, herbicide resistant weed seeds have even been transported over several states in this way. Farmers can decrease or completely prevent the entry of new weed seeds by careful selection and monitoring of the inputs coming onto the farm. Farmers should be also cautious when saving harvested grain for future seed needs. Crop seeds that have passed state certification programs are more likely to be weed-free due to the rigorous weed management requirements for certified seed.

Seed bag label showing amount of weed seed contamination. Photo credit: Michael Flessner, Virginia Tech.

Case Studies

Spread of Palmer Amaranth through native conservation seed mixes in Iowa:
Shipment of out-of-state seed mixes introduces new Palmer in Ohio: