Towering over your crops, waterhemp steals precious bushels. With each herbicide pass it laughs as you try to control it, as its up to 8’ stature is impervious to many popular chemicals. With each combine pass it spreads seeds, grinning as it infects yet another field. Waterhemp is a mighty foe, and one farmers across the Midwest are battling every year. To make matters worse, the crafty villain recently found a new way to damage farmer bottom lines: sneaking in CRP and pollinator plant mixes under the guise of a native plant. Well, the jig is up.
Eurofins BioDiagnostics Inc., a U.S. company that performs lab testing focused on seed, plant and agbio products, recently introduced a new method to detect waterhemp seeds—even differentiating it from other Amaranthus species. “Amaranth species identification issues have plagued seed producers and farmers for many years,” said Michael Drozd, president of Eurofins BioDiagnostics. “The development of this new and effective method for the detection and identification of the harmful waterhemp species is an example of how Eurofins BioDianostics is supporting the seed industry by providing unique testing solutions.” The company tests seeds individually and can even distinguish waterhemp from its illusive cousin, Palmer amaranth. This means it can rule out contamination from either of the pervasive weeds in a single test. Farmers or seed companies can send in seed lot samples for testing directly to one of three Eurofins BioDiagnostics locations in the U.S. Learn more about other methods for Amaranthus detection here.