Weed Free Forage
There is a growing demand in North America for the use of certified weed free forage, mulch and gravel as a preventative program. The goal of these standards is to provide a guideline to set minimum requirements for a uniform program.
Education has been the biggest benefit. Other benefits are to provide assurance to all participants that the product is certified through this program meets a minimum acceptable standard and to provide continuity between the various provinces, states and counties in the program.
Gravel Pit / Ground Standards
Gravel/borrow area shall be free of those noxious weeds or undesirable plant species identified in and those weeds declared noxious within Big Horn County.
1. Gravel shall be inspected prior to movement by Weed & Pest personnel.
2. Gravel shall also be inspected in the area of origin. Area shall include, but not limited to;
* Surrounding ditches
*Top Soil Piles
*Roads / Easements / Right-of-Ways
*Working, Storage & Buffer Zone Surrounding the Area
3. Gravel/borrow area which contains any noxious weeds or undesirable plant species, as identified, may be certified if the following requirements are met:
a. Mining area was treated to prevent seed formation or seed ripening to the degree that here is no danger of dissemination of the seed, or any injurious portion of any noxious weeds, or undesirable plant species, or propagating parts of the plant that are not capable of producing a new plant,
b. Noxious weeds or undesirable plants species treated no later than rosette to bud stage, or boot stage for grass species.,
c. Treatment method can include, but not limited to:
1) burning, 2) mowing, cutting or rouging, 3)mechanical methods, or 4) chemicals.
4. An inspection certificate shall document above requirements that have been met based on a reasonable and prudent visual inspection.
All persons in Big Horn County who produce crops such as; hay (of any sort), barley, oats, wheat, sorghum and/or flax and intend on removing them from the farm of origin, are required to obtain a written Big Horn County Quarantine ‘Weed Release’.
Removing from farm of origin includes moving the crop down a public road or from your field to the neighbor’s field adjacent to you. This written release will be issued if the crops are inspected prior to harvest, are deemed to not present a danger of moving noxious weeds via seeds or other propagative parts from one farm to another, or to a public right of way.
If you are producing any of the above crops, please contact Big Horn County Weed & Pest at least 5 days prior to harvest to obtain a weed release.
Forage that is certified must be inspected according to Regional Forage Certification Standards. The objective is to help prevent and slow the spread of listed noxious weeds by providing forage which is free of potential seed for transport and dispersal. The criteria consisted of three levels:
· EXCEEDS—contains ONLY specified forage.
· MEETS—contains variable annual weeds and/or other not listed as noxious or prohibited.
· COMPLIES W/ MINIMUM—contains variable amounts of prohibited or noxious species which are immature or have been treated.
New Field Inspection Standards
1. There will be a flat fee of $15.00 per field within 100 acres for all certification requests. This fee will be imposed whether the field passes inspection or not. For fields that pass inspection the producer may then purchase certified weed free twine or tags at cost. All bales must have certification tags or designated twine attached to be considered weed free.
2. Requests for certification must be made a minimum of 5 days before the field is cut and a maximum of 10 before the field is cut.
3. There shall be a minimum of two entry points per field. Each entry shall be at lease 150 feet into the field.
4. Field borders shall be inspected, including:
* Surrounding Ditches
* Fence Rows
* Roads, Easements & Right-of-Ways or Buffer zone surrounding the field.
*Storage Area for the forage (Stack Yards, Hay Barns)
Certified forage is required on All National Forest, National Parks Lands, BLM, State Lands and within Big Horn County.