Iowa wants invasive weed sightings reported

Asian copperleaf Photo: Iowa Dept. of Agriculture and Land Stewardship

Iowa officials are asking farmers to report sightings of an invasive weed.  The Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa State University want to know how widespread the Asian Copperleaf infestation has become.

The department says the weed was discovered in Black Hawk County in 2016 and has now been found in a Grundy County soybean field 30 miles away.  Several dense patches of the weed were present throughout the field, indicating the weed was present for several years before being identified.   

Until 2016, the only other known infestation was in New York City.

The department says Asian copperleaf is usually around 18 inches tall but can reach heights of three feet.  It is a member of the spurge family and usually remains beneath the canopy during the growing season and becomes more visible at harvest time.  It’s also hard to identify until flowering because of similarities with Virginia copperleaf and three-seeded mercury.

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