A bill authored by Sen. Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) passed its first Senate committee on Tuesday. Senate File 405 would mandate the state of Minnesota notify property owners if the noxious Palmer amaranth weed is found near their property. It was heard in the Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Policy Committee on February 7, where it passed on a voice vote unanimously.
“I was happy that there was no opposition to this bill in committee today,” said Sen. Draheim. “Palmer amaranth has the potential to cause real problems for Minnesota farmers. Today’s result was an important first step as we begin the discussion about eradicating this devastating weed.”
Palmer amaranth is a noxious weed that first appeared in Minnesota last fall. It spreads rapidly and is very difficult to kill; it is resistant to many herbicides. According to the Department of Agriculture, if found in a corn crop it can destroy up to 91% of the yield; if found in a soybean crop, it can destroy up to 79% of the yield.
Senate File 405 was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Housing Finance, where it awaits a hearing.