Ragweed Record – Extreme weather conditions fuel a huge pollen season

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Ragweed Record – Extreme weather conditions fuel a huge pollen season

This year, ragweed weeds are expected to reach new record levels. The climatic conditions of the past few weeks have resulted in ideal growing conditions for this highly allergenic plant, the pollen information service predicted on Wednesday. The spread of ragweed is constantly increasing and is not only a significant health and economic challenge in the eastern and southern part of Austria, but is also becoming an increasing burden on agriculture.

The previous pollen season already demanded a lot from allergy sufferers due to the constant stress peaks. And it doesn’t get any better. While the rainfall, meanwhile, has brought relief to those affected, the above-average rainfall in recent weeks has been ideal for the growth of the weed ragweed — also known as Ambrosia artemisiifolia, ragweed or shredded herb, according to the pollen information service. Flowering is now imminent.

“High allergic potency”
“In mid-August ragweed, a very adaptable and resistant plant with a high allergic potential, begins to release its pollen into the wind – and probably in unusually large quantities,” explains Markus Berger, head of the Pollen Information Service and physician. “The start and extent of the season depends on the temperature, the number of light hours in May and June and the amount of precipitation. The climatic conditions were ideal for ragweed this year.”

Imported from the United States
The weed was introduced from the United States in the mid-20th century. “More and more people are allergic to ragweed. In them, the contact causes symptoms such as a runny nose, red, itchy eyes, an urge to sneeze, shortness of breath, etc. and very often asthma,” says the doctor. A few pollen grains per cubic meter of air are sufficient for this.

Mass distribution
Vienna, Burgenland, Lower Austria and Styria are the areas in Austria where ragweed is most common. But Carinthia is also reporting more and more finds and now the reports from Tyrol are also piling up. Until now you were safe above 1000 meters above sea level. But that has also changed: “The plant has now adapted itself in such a way that it can also thrive at great heights,” says Berger. Once ragweed has established itself in an area, it spreads en masse. More info HERE.

Source: Krone

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