Weed Free Forage Program
When forages are transported, be it across the road or across the United States, the potential for the spread of weeds is present. A regional weed free forage program was formulated and implemented to prevent the spread of weeds from one location to another. There is a growing demand in all of North America for the use of certified weed free forage and mulch as a preventative measure to limit the spread of noxious weeds. The North American Weed Management Association developed the North American Weed Free Forage Program. These standards have been adopted by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. The standards are designed:
- to provide some assurance to all participants that forage certified through this program meets a minimum acceptable standard;
- to provide continuity between the various provinces and states in the program; and
- to limit the spread of noxious weeds though forage and mulch.
The Lancaster County Weed Control Authority will upon request inspect any forage prior to harvest as to the presence or absence of the designated noxious weeds of the participating states and provinces. The forage is required to be inspected in the field of origin prior to cutting or harvesting. Forage containing any noxious weeds or other listed weeds may be certified if prescribed treatments are followed. An inspection certificate will document that the requirements were met. Interstate shipments of forages must be accompanied by a transit certificate and/or certification marking issued by the Weed Control Authority in the state of origin. Shipments into restricted areas not accompanied by the proper transit certificate or certification marking may be rejected. State and regional lists of available certified weed free forage are maintained and provided to potential customers. There is potential for increased value forage. Please contact this office for assistance with the certification process, or if you have questions about this program.