In order to visually demonstrate the drastic effects of Palmer amaranth, the Palmer Project used NetLogo software to model the spread. NetLogo is a “multi-agent programmable modeling environment” and can be used to easily and visually model problems from disease evolution to urban economic disparity.
By coding in various factors, such as field type, current infestation locations, and seed travel distance, the Palmer Project team created a preliminary model in 2015 of where Palmer amaranth infestations would be in 25 years in Iowa. Currently, the team is working on expanding this model to cover the entire Midwest. They are also refining the model by including more risk factors revealed by increased research and interviews with the farming community.