BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A weed that’s strong enough to stop combines and resist many herbicides has been found in North Dakota for the first time.

The Agriculture Department says Palmer amaranth has been positively identified in a soybean field in McIntosh County, in the southeast.

The aggressive pigweed species has been found in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa in recent years, and it has devastated crops in other parts of the country. It can grow as tall as 7 feet, with each plant producing hundreds of thousands of seeds.

It can be spread in a number of ways, including on farm machinery or in grass seed. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the plant in McIntosh County might have been introduced by wildlife.

He says early detection is key to battling the weed.

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