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Weed Shock . . .

July 16, 2009

Bladder Campion Yesterday, I was around the county doing corn planter deviation counts. At this one farmers place, I saw a weed that I have never seen before. This came as a shock to me since I spent two summers working in weed/herbicide research and was a member of the PSU Weed team for two years.

I pulled a sample of the weed from the field and figured talking to the farmer was the first step to identifying the weed. The farmer was not sure of the weeds name . . . he thought it started with a “C”. He then proceeded to tell me a little more about the weed. He said that it can be a huge problem in wheat because the plant produces a small black seed that is about the same size as the wheat. This creates a challenge when one is trying to clean the wheat.

As the morning progressed and I still hadn’t made it back to the office yet, I was still thinking about this weed. I remembered back to an Ag tour that I was on in the middle of June. These two older gentleman, who are also farmers, were talking about having Bladder Campion in their wheat . . . then I was thinking to myself what if this is bladder campion. I’ve heard of white campion, but not bladder campion. Of course at that time I wasn’t smart enough to ask the gentleman about this weed. But the weed I picked in the field, does resemble white campion. So before I even got back to the office, I decided that this new weed just had to be bladder campion.

Thanks to google . . . I determined that my assumption was right and this weed is definitely bladder campion. Its scientific name is Silene vulgaris. Bladder campion differs from white campion in that it doesn’t have hairs and is a robust perennial with creeping rhizomes. Which means this weed can be hard to control. Probably the best way to control this weed is through crop rotation and tillage.

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