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Iowa Department of Agriculture Requests Help From Farmers In Tracking Asian Copperleaf Spread

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is seeking help from Iowans in monitoring the spread of an invasive plant. Asian copperleaf was first detected in 2016 in Black Hawk County, and state officials recently confirmed the noxious weed had been identified in neighboring Grundy County. Asian copperleaf is a member of the spurge family but lacks the milky sap standard among its relatives. To date, most plants found in Iowa were less than 18 inches in height with 2”-3” serrated leaves. The primary distinguishing characteristic of Asian copperleaf is the bracts located beneath its flowers, similar to Virginia copperleaf and three-seeded mercury. Plants typically emerge later in the growing season and remain under the crop canopy, making them difficult to detect before harvest. Farmers and other professionals in the agriculture industry are asked to watch for suspected infestations and to contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture to help determine the risk it poses.

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