Certified Weed Free Forage and Mulch Program
In 1996, the North American Weed Management Association brought together representatives from federal land management agencies, state agencies, counties and forage producers to develop a uniform standard for certifying forage and mulch free of noxious weed seeds. The standards are designed to:
- assure all participants that forage and mulch certified through this program meet a minimum acceptable standard
- provide consistency between states
- limit the spread of noxious weeds
Weed free forage is required on many U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands, in national parks, military locations, tribal lands and National Fish and Wildlife refuges. Certifiable forage products include straw, alfalfa hay, grass hay, grain hay, and forage pellets and cubes. Recreational horse riders using federal property may need weed free forage to feed their horses, and state and federal agencies may require weed free mulch for right-of-way projects. Also, weed free forage may be required on state and federal land when mulch is needed on seeded areas following forest fires.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture signed a memorandum of understanding with NAWMA to follow the standards set forth in the North American Weed Free Forage Program. Kansas Department of Agriculture staff are also qualified to certify forage and mulch products to meet any additional requirements set forth by any receiving entity, and we are the only recognized certifying authority in Kansas.
Weed-free forage inspection is a typical growing season inspection, generally for domestic export, and must occur if the forage is to be certified to meet the North American Weed Free Forage program standards. The Kansas Department of Agriculture does not require this weed-free forage certification but, upon request, will conduct a growing season inspection of forage intended for certification under those standards. An inspection report is given to the producer and after harvest a copy to this report is returned to the KDA identifying the number of bales harvested on each inspected site. Based upon the returned report, the amount of certified weed free forage for each site will be recorded and tracked. Producers can then request bale tags and/or make applications for transit certificates for their certified weed free forage.
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Last updated 9/24/2012