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Weed-Free Forage | South Dakota Department of Agriculture

Weed-Free Forage

Bales of HayNorth American Weed Free Forage Certification

There is a growing demand in North America for the use of certified weed free forage and mulch as a preventative program in Integrated Weed Management Systems to limit the spread of noxious weeds. The goal of this program is to provide guidelines to set minimum requirements for uniform participation of provinces and states in the program.

The standards are designed

  1. To provide some assurance to all participants that forage certified through this program meets a minimum acceptable standard.
  2. To provide continuity between provinces and states in the program.
  3. To limit the spread of noxious weeds through forage and mulch.

Certifiable forage products include: straw, alfalfa/grass hay, forage pellets/cubes, alfalfa hay, grain hay and grass hay.

Get Certified

Weed Free Forage Producers

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Weed Free Forage program provide?

  1. Supports uniform standards and policy.
  2. Certified forage for livestock, wildlife and vegetation projects.
  3. An opportunity to move forage freely in restricted areas, both intrastate and interstate.
  4. A producer list of available certified forage.

Where is certified forage required?
Certified public and provincial lands have areas that require North American weed free forage. Weed free forage is required on many U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands, in National Parks, Bureau of Reclamation land, military locations, tribal lands as well as National Fish and Wildlife refuges. Restrictions may apply to other lands administered by provincial, county, state or federal agencies. Respective land managers must be contacted for the most current information.

How do I get my forage certified?
Contact the Department of Agriculture at least 1-2 weeks prior to cutting or harvesting. A Department representative must make an inspection in the field or origin prior to cutting or harvesting. Certification is based on a reasonable and prudent visual inspection of the field. A field includes surrounding ditches, fence rows, roads, right-of-ways or buffer zones surrounding the outside edge of a field. A certificate of inspection form is issued to the producer if the field meets the requirements of the weed free forage certification standards.

What if noxious weeds are present in the field?
Forage which contains North American designated noxious weeds may be certified if the following requirements are met:

  1. The field where the forage was produced has been treated to prevent seed formation or seed ripening and propagative parts of the plant are not capable of producing a new plant.
  2. Designated noxious weeds have been treated no later than rosette to bud stage (or boot stage for perennial grasses classified as weeds), prior to cutting or harvesting.

Can forage be certified in another state and allowed to move freely through interstate commerce?
Yes. A state’s authorized representative can certify forage in any state if it meets the North American Forage Certification Standards. Certified forage may or may not meet the forage quality standards adopted by the Hay Marketing Task Force of the American Forage and Grassland Council.

State/Province Program Contacts
Alberta, Canada 403.422.4909
British Columbia, Canada 604.556.3066
California 916.445.6214
Colorado 303.239.4142
Idaho 208.334.3521
Kansas 785.862.2180
Minnesota 612.625.7766
Montana 406.444.2944
Nebraska 402.471.2394
New Mexico 505.522.8775
Nevada 702.688.1180
North Dakota 701.328.2980
Oklahoma 405.521.3864
Oregon 503.986.4551
South Dakota 605.773.3796
Utah 801.538.7183
Washington 258.872.2972
Wyoming 307.777.6585

Designated Noxious Weed and Undesirable Plant Species List
Forage will be inspected in the field of origin. Fields will be inspected for the sixty one (61) species listed below prior to cutting or harvesting.
Absinth wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)       
Austrain fieldcress  (Rorippa austriaca)  
Black henbane  (Hyoscyamus niger)       
Buffalobur  (Solanum rostratum)             
Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)      
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)              
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)       
Common burdock  (Arctium minus)        
Common crupina (Crupina vulgaris)        
Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)     
Common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)      
Cutleaf teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus)         
Dalmation toadflax  (Linaria dalmatica)  
Damesrocket (Hesperis matronalis)        
Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa) 
Dodder (Cuscuta genus)              
Dyers woad (Isatis tinctoria)       
Field bindweed  (Convolvulus arvensis)
Field scabious (Knautia arvensis)              
Giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis)               
Hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana)             
Hoary cress (Cardaria spp.)         
Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense)        
Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale)              
Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)       
Jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica)  
Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)
Meadow knapweed (Centaurea pratensis)         
Medusahead  (Centaurea pratensis)      
Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)  
Multiflora rose  (Rosa multiflora)             
Orange hawkweed  (Hieracium aurantiacum)    
Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)  
Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium)     
Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis)               
Phragmities (Phragmites australis)          
Plumeless thistle  (Carduus acanthoides)             
Poison hemlock  (Conium maculatum)  
Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris)            
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)     
Quackgrass (Agropyron repens)               
Rusk skeletonweed  (Chondrilla juncea)               
Russian knapweed (Centaurea repens)
Saltcedar (Tamarix Species)        
Scentless chamomile  (Anthemis arvensis)          
Scotch thistle  (Onopordum acanthium)               
Sericea lespedeza  (Lespedeza cuneata)              
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)          
Squarrose knapweed (Centaurea vigata)             
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
Sulfur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)           
Tall Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)             
Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)           
Vipers bugloss (Echium vulgare)               
White horehound (Marrubium vulgare)               
Wild oats (Avena fatua)               
Wild  proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) 
Yellow hawkweed  (Hieracium pratense)             
Yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis)              
Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)