Iowa Offers Weed Seed Free Forage and Mulch Certification
AMES, Iowa — Iowa Crop Improvement Association (ICIA) is helping to facilitate a new marketing opportunity for hay and straw producers. ICIA now offers a certification program to assure that forage and mulch are free of noxious weed seed. The program that is offered complies with the Weed Free Forage Standards developed by the North American Weed Management Association.
In other Midwestern states, producers use this program as an additional marketing opportunity. Potential markets include customers seeking clean hay, people needing certified hay for their horses on visits to national parks and contractors using straw for road construction erosion-control projects.
The key steps in the ICIA program include application of seed on commercial fields of forage, grasses and small grains, inspection of fields and storage sites prior to cutting and harvesting, labeling the bales or containers with certification labels and issuance of a Transit Certificate for interstate shipments. The inspection of fields and storage sites within 10 days of harvest assures that 54 designated noxious weeds and undesirable plants are not present in a manner to disseminate seed or allow propagation of a new plant. Any noxious weeds or undesirable plants near the field are isolated from the field by at least 10 feet.
For more information regarding the Iowa noxious weed seed free forage and mulch certification program, contact Eileen Wuebker at the Iowa Crop Improvement Association at (515) 294-0546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eileen Wuebker, Iowa Crop Improvement Association, (515) 294-0546, email@example.com
Crystal Ostrem, Iowa Crop Improvement Association, (515) 294-6921, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean McGuire, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-7033, email@example.com