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  • Writer's pictureBrent Anderson

Time to Think Differently about Ragweed

For allergy sufferers, ragweed is the most miserable plant on the planet. For farmers, ragweed is pure evil. Even for landowners, a ragweed plant is spotted, and many run for their weed killers. What's more, most county weed inspectors look at ragweed with disdain.

What if your friendly Quail Forever team were to provide you with a little paradigm shift today? Are you ready?

Ragweed is not all that bad. In fact, it is quite a GOOD plant to have. Here are some surprising points to learn:

* Few weeds (or wildflowers) attract more insects than ragweed. As a result, pheasants and quail flock to ragweed - like crazy!

* Ragweed holds onto its very nutritious seed (especially high in protein) until the worst times of the year - January through March. It then drops its seeds onto the surface of the snow, simplifying the effort of foraging for food, causing pheasants and quail to expend fewer calories to get at important food.

* In more progressive states (yes, some are more than Minnesota), conservation groups have begun to create ragweed food plots for quail, pheasants, turkey and many non-migratory songbirds.

If that isn't enough to surprise you, please CLICK HERE to read another article about ragweed. It's called "The Irony of Giant Ragweed."

* both species of ragweed, "Giant" and "Small" ragweed are incredible insect attractors, an important food source for many birds and bats.

So, the next time you see a ragweed plant, maybe hesitate a bit before running for the weed killer and ask yourself whether there's value to its presence in your yard or on your property. It is most certainly beneficial for quail.

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