How to Manage Pigweed in Wheat

FBN Network

Jan 31, 2024

Amaranthus, commonly known as pigweed, is a resilient and rapid-growing weed wreaking havoc in wheat fields worldwide. 

Pigweed often outgrows wheat for essential resources, stunting wheat growth and diminishing grain yield. Affecting various parts of the wheat plant, pigweed’s dense growth can overshadow wheat plants, hampering their photosynthesis. The weed's expansive root system can also vie with wheat roots for water and nutrients. Finally, it can change the plants' nutrient uptake, leading to nutrient deficiencies, and affect the plants' water status, resulting in water stress.

Pigweed's presence can also complicate and prolong the harvesting process. The weed's thick stems can jam machinery, leading to increased maintenance costs.

This post will outline:

  • How to identify pigweed 

  • Geographic impact of pigweed

  • Timing of pigweed

  • How to manage pigweed in wheat

How to Identify Pigweed

Early identification of pigweed can empower farmers to implement necessary control measures. Here are some distinguishing features to aid in its detection:

Pigweed can tower up to 2 meters in height. Its stem is thick, hairy, and exhibits a reddish hue, while its leaves are arranged alternately, long, oval-shaped, and possess a waxy sheen.

Pigweed blooms small, greenish flowers that cluster into long spikes at the plant's apex. Its seeds are minuscule, shiny, and either black or dark brown.

Geographic Impact of Pigweed 

Pigweed is a widespread weed, especially in North America, Europe, and Asia. It flourishes in disturbed soils, typical of agricultural fields.

Timing of Pigweed

Pigweed sprouts in the spring and continues its growth through summer. As a warm-season annual weed, it completes its life cycle within a year and favors warm temperatures.

How to Manage Pigweed in Wheat

Two herbicides are often recommended for pigweed management in wheat: Willowood Paraquat 3SL and Alligare MSM 60

Willowood Paraquat 3SL, containing Paraquat dichloride as its active ingredient, is labeled for wheat use specifically for Pigweed control. Alligare MSM 60, containing Metsulfuron methyl as its active ingredient, is also labeled for wheat use for Pigweed control. 

The application rates for these products are as follows:

  • Willowood Paraquat 3SL: Typical application rate for wheat is 2 US liquid pints per acre (range: 1.3-2.7 US liquid pints per acre). Additional product information, including the label and safety data sheet, can be found here.

  • Alligare MSM 60: Please refer to the label for application rates. More product information, including the label and safety data sheet, can be found here.

Always adhere to the recommended application rates and guidelines provided on the product labels for safe and effective use.

Crop Protection from FBN®

Proactively scouting for and responding to weed presence in your fields will help reduce potential crop damage and improve yield. FBN has a wide variety of effective herbicides to help address agronomic pressures and keep your operation on track. 

With transparent pricing, straightforward online ordering, detailed product labels and fast direct-to-farm delivery, FBN can help you get the products you need to protect your crops.


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FBN Network

Jan 31, 2024

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