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Iowa Senate Ag to discuss Palmer amaranth bill Wednesday

The Iowa Senate Agriculture Committee will discuss a bill classifying Palmer amaranth as a noxious weed. House File 410 places Palmer amaranth on the primary noxious weed list and the list of invasive plants that are prohibited to import, sell, offer for sale or distribute in the state.

Code chapter 199 provides a list of primary and secondary noxious weed seeds. It also provides requirements for labeling seeds that are sold, classifies certified seeds, and prohibits certain acts relating to seeds. Selling Palmer amaranth seed is a simple misdemeanor pursuant to Code section 199.13 and violators may be subject to criminal or civil proceedings.

Code chapter 317 creates standards for noxious weed control for each county weed commissioner, allowing county commissioners to enter land in certain circumstances, and authorizes commissioners to keep roads clear of noxious weeds.

A person who fails to comply with an order to destroy Palmer amaranth on property is subject to monetary daily fines for up to 10 days. The county where Palmer amaranth is discovered will destroy the plant and the costs associated with such destruction shall be assessed to the landowner.

This past spring, locations across Iowa have seen more and more Palmer amaranth plants popping up. The Iowa Senate Ag Committee will discuss the bill at 11:00am Wednesday.