Palmer Amaranth Spreads to Upper Midwest

Palmer amaranth. By Pompilid - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia.org

Palmer amaranth. By Pompilid - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia.org

     "If I was a farmer up there, and I see a small patch of Palmer amaranth coming up out of my crop, I'd stop my truck, walk out there, pull them up and go throw them in a ditch somewhere," said Jason Bond, science specialist at Mississippi State University's Delta Research and Extension Center. "You need zero tolerance. It can get away from you quickly. Once you recognize it for the first time, take extreme measures to keep it from getting away from you."

     While Palmer amaranth has already been found in South Dakota and Minnesota, it is still absent from such nearby states as North Dakota and Montana. But that only means farmers in those states need to be vigilant, said Tom Peters, extension sugar beet weed specialist for North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. "It's mind numbing what this weed can do to us potentially," he says. "It's a game-changer."

      For the full article from duluthnewstribune.com click here or on the link available below.

NASA Hydrilla Mapping

     Using satellite imagery from the Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager, NASA researchers created a "rapid assessment tool... to map the extent of hydrilla and predict future spread throughout the SEUS (south eastern United States) by quantifying biomass through a time-series analysis. 

      The data obtained was then compared and refined against images collected from unmanned aerial systems, with the model developed being validated by in situ biomass measurements. 

     Check out this video on YouTube and the original abstract here

Field Guide to Identify Harmful Algal Blooms

A microscopic image of the cyanobacteria, tolypothrix. Credit: Matthewjparker, wikimedia.org

A microscopic image of the cyanobacteria, tolypothrix. Credit: Matthewjparker, wikimedia.org

     The U.S. Geological Survey has released a field guide to help Native American and Alaska Native communities identify potential harmful algal blooms (HABs). Because these communities may depend on subsistence fishing, they are potentially more at-risk for exposure to the toxins produced by cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae).

     The guide, available here, provides images of cyanobacteria blooms in field settings, as well as providing images of non-toxic blooms and different floating aquatic vegetation. To help with more exact identification, the guide also provides microscopic images of common cynobacteria species which produce the cyanotoxins.

     The full release is available here, or through the link available below.