Alkali Weed Difficult to Control
James Schaffer is a grad student at California State University Fresno. And for the last five years he's been working with former UC Cooperative Extension weed advisor (retired) Kurt Hembree.
Schaffer probably knows more about alkali weed than anyone in the world because there's very little in the literature about it. And even though it's called alkaline weed, it's not classified yet as a weed. And one thing for certain, this is a tough plant to control.
“It seems to be tough to control so far, as traditional chemical herbicides have merely just suppressed it for a few weeks. And the plant bounces right back. We're seeing regrowth within two to three weeks of chemical application upon digging up plants,” noted Schaffer. “It seems that they have a really extensive root system. It is in the same family as field bindweed, and has a similar root structure. It has a long taproot and also grows a lateral-root systems that produce new buds that end up surfacing and becoming new plants in the field,” he said.
Schaffer said Alkali weed does propagate through seed, but we believe that growers are spreading this plant through their field with their tractors. “But we do not know that for sure,” he said.
Schaffer is working diligently on how this plant works. “We looking at its biology and its ecology in order to develop control strategies,” he said. “So, my approach for my thesis work is to develop data on how this plant grows,its sensitivity to daylight and shade, as well as its water and moisture needs.”