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Examination of commercially available bird feed for weed seed contaminants

  • Eric Oseland (a1), Mandy Bish (a2), Christine Spinka (a3) and Kevin Bradley (a4)

Abstract

In 2016 and 2017, 98 separate commercially available bird feed mixes were examined for the presence of weed seed. All weed seed contaminants were counted and identified by species. Amaranthus species were present in 94 of the 98 bags of bird feed. Amaranthus species present in bird feed mixes included waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) Sauer], redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson), smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.), and tumble pigweed (Amaranthus albus L.). Amaranthus palmeri was present in 27 of the 98 mixes. Seed of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), kochia [Bassia scoparia (L.) A.J. Scott], grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], wild buckwheat (Fallopia convolvulus L., syn: Polygonum convolvulus), common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.), large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.], and Setaria species were also present in bird feed mixes. A greenhouse assay to determine Amaranthus species seed germinability and resistance to glyphosate revealed that approximately 19% of Amaranthus seed in bird feed mixes are readily germinable, and five mixes contained A. tuberculatus and A. palmeri seed that were resistant to glyphosate. Results from linear regression and t-test analysis indicate that when proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.), grain sorghum, and corn (Zea mays L.) were present in feed mixes, Amaranthus seed contamination was increased. The presence of proso millet and grain sorghum also increased contamination of grass weed species, while sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) increased A. artemisiifolia contamination and safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) increased contamination of Bassia scoparia.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri, 201 Waters Hall, Columbia, MO65211. (Email: bradleyke@mail.missouri.edu)

Footnotes

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Associate Editor: Steven S. Seefeldt, Washington State University

Footnotes

References

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Keywords

Examination of commercially available bird feed for weed seed contaminants

  • Eric Oseland (a1), Mandy Bish (a2), Christine Spinka (a3) and Kevin Bradley (a4)

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