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URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says a weed that can badly damage corn and soybean crops has now spread to at least 26 counties in the state.

Palmar amaranth originated in the Southwest but in recent years has spread east.

According to the university, it can also be tough to kill. Some specimens found in Illinois and elsewhere survive the commonly used herbicide glyphosate.

The News-Gazette in Champaign says

University of Illinois weed science professor Aaron Hager advises farmers to mark areas in their fields where they find the weeds this season and scout those spots heavily next spring. Weeds should be removed before harvest because the small, black seeds spread easily.

In eastern Illinois Palmer amaranth has been found in Champaign, Iroquois and Macon counties.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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