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Invasive Whitetop prospers in Malheur County

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

VALE — Heavy winter snowfall and a wet spring spawned a bumper crop of weeds locally.

Whitetop especially thrived in the county during the spring and early summer, though the invasive weed has now mostly gone to seed.

“It forms these really dense stands and gets to be a real problem to control. It showed up in a lot of areas,” said Stuart Reitz, cropping systems agent for the Malheur County Experiment Station.

Gary Page, Malheur County weed inspector, said whitetop is a “bigger issue” every year.

“People haven’t taken it very seriously and it has gotten pretty much out of control. It does really well. It likes this climate and likes the soils,” said Page.

Page said the damp spring gave weeds like whitetop a head start.

Like other invasive weeds in the county, whitetop arrived uninvited and quickly put down roots . . .