Even the best made and implemented weed management strategies can fall short of the glory of perfect, clean fields come summer. And Palmer amaranth will take advantage where it can. As you look over the cotton field now, you see them getting bigger by the day. If all else fails, best go manhandle them out of there and keep a bad thing from getting worse next year.

Georgia cotton growers have a come a long way in their battle with pigweed, and they are winning. But intelligent management decisions can still fail, and weather conditions were less than cooperative this spring and early summer for perfect weed control. ‘The key is accepting it (pigweed) is going kick your tail sometimes, but then going back and making the right management decision again," said Stanley Culpepper, weed specialist with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

If Palmers are popping up, get out there and remove them before the weed starts producing seed, which most growers now know it can do at an amazing level. But Palmer seeds are weak and don't last long in the soil, the only edge this weed gives to growers. "If they are seeing just 10 plants per acre, it is important to get those plants," Culpepper said. "And with good hand weeding, and if done right, we can see a significant change in the seedbank in just three or four years," he said.