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Published May 25, 2010, 12:56 PM

Old weed poses new problems for some Nebraska farmers

FREMONT, Neb. — A weed with origins dating back as many as 345 million years is showing up in eastern Nebraska corn and soybean fields.

FREMONT, Neb. — A weed with origins dating back as many as 345 million years is showing up in eastern Nebraska corn and soybean fields.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension educator Dave Varner says it is primarily known as scouring rush but also is known as snake grass, jointed grass, horse pipes or horse-tail. It can grow 4 feet tall, and a substance in its stem is toxic to livestock.

Varner says test plots will be set up for experimentation with herbicides and other control measures, including tilling.

He says scouring rush spreads into fields from ditches and other waterways, particularly into fields where low- or no-till cropping is practiced.

Varner also says the recent proliferation follows some years of higher rainfall.

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