Diligent farmer discovers Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed was found in the M.D. of Smoky River recently and quickly eradicated.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Thanks to a well-informed and diligent farmer, a single plant of Jimsonweed has met a quick ending.

M.D. of Smoky River agriculture fieldman Normand Boulet says they were recently told a single plant of the noxious weed was growing on top of some culverts in an M.D. road ditch.

“We took care of the plant, it was double-bagged and will be buried deep in the landfill because incinerating it could release health damaging toxins,” says Boulet.

The rare find is an excellent reminder that everyone should be on the lookout for new invasive weeds and pests.

“Jimsonweed was likely introduced to Alberta as an impurity in canola seed grown in South America,” says Boulet.

“Because the seed can remain dormant for years, it may have been here for several years already, and we could have new plants pop up when conditions allow.”

Boulet urges anyone if they see a plant they don’t recognize, especially growing “where it has no reason to be”, contact the M.D.’s Ag Services Department. Or, take a few pictures and send them in by text or e-mail to M.D. staff.

He is also pleased and commends the farmer, who had already researched it and knew it was Jimsonweed.

“[He] knew it was toxic and should be dealt with carefully,” says Boulet.

“We have enough to deal with and don’t need a new weed getting established and becoming a widespread issue.”

Early detection rapid response is important, he adds, because destroying a new invasive species before it gets established can save hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars.

Alberta Invasive Species has excellent fact sheets on many invasive species to help people recognize them.

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