Pesky Weed

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The state of Alabama plans to spend more
than $6 million in federal stimulus money in an effort to control an insidious, grass-like weed that has spread across much of the state.

The Legislature's Contract Review Committee approved Thursday a $6.05 million contact with a Mobile company to design and carryout a strategy to rid the state of the weed known as cogongrass. The weed is also called Japanese Blood Grass and Red Baron Grass.

Assistant State Forester Bill Baisden said the weed spreads fast and can quickly take over a pasture or a forested area. It is highly flammable.

Auburn University researcher Nancy Loewenstein said the weed is believed to have entered the United States through the port of Mobile in about 1912.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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