Extension Ag Update
January/February 2003
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Certified Weed Free Hay and Mulch Comes to Illinois

Ellen Phillips, Extension Educator – Crop Systems, Countryside Extension Center, 708-352-0109, ephillps@uiuc.edu

A new marketing tool is now available to forage producers – Certified Weed Free Hay. The Illinois Crop Improvement Association (ICIA) has been authorized by the North American Weed Management Association (NAWMA) to offer a program for Certified Weed Free Forage and Mulch in the Illinois. One of the main purposes of these programs is to minimize the spread of noxious weeds. There has been a growing need for such as program, because many government agencies such as the Forest Services and Bureaus of Land Management now require Certified Weed Free Hay for feeding livestock, including horses, on public grounds. In addition, many states agencies and contractors are requiring contractors to use Certified Weed Free Mulch on newly seeded areas for erosion control, protecting new developments or in reclamation projects. 

The Certified Weed Free Hay and Mulch program involves certifying that forage and mulch producers have observed minimum weed control standards to prevent noxious weeds in their hay or mulch. Fields and facilities will be inspected by independent third party inspectors. 

For more information on the Certified Weed Free Forage and Mulch Program check out the North American Weed Management Association website at http://www.nawma.org.  To find out more about the Illinois program contact Ryan Johnson, Illinois Crop Improvement Association, www.ilcrop.com, at 217-359-4053 or email  rjohnson@ilcrop.com