Microsoft word - forage_and_mulch_certification_standards

Noxious Weed Seed Free Certification Standards 2013 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association INTRODUCTION
There is a growing demand in North America for the use of certified noxious weed seed free forage and mulch as
a preventative program to limit the spread of noxious weeds. This voluntary certification program is designed to
assure that forage (hay, cubes and pellets) and mulch sold with proper certification identification meets minimum
standards designed to limit the spread of noxious weeds. Buyers are provided assurance that forage and mulch
certified through this program meets these minimum standards.
The Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA) has been designated under the Minnesota Noxious Weed
Law as the official Noxious Weed Free Forage and Mulch Certification Agency in Minnesota by the Commissioner
of Agriculture in consultation with the Director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.
These certification standards are consistent with the North American Weed Free Forage Program standards
developed by the North American Weed Management Association (NAWMA). NAWMA has established minimum
standards to allow uniform participation by states and provinces in the program. Forage and mulch certified by
MCIA with proper certification markings attached will be eligible to be shipped into restricted areas in the United
States and Canada where only forage certified under the North American Weed Free Forage Program can be
The various inspections and site visits that are an integral part of this program minimize the opportunity for
misleading or fraudulent actions on the part of the applicants participating in the program. However, the
production and distribution of certified material depends on the integrity of those participating in the program. The
MCIA Board of Directors will act on any case where rules established by MCIA are knowingly or intentionally
violated. Action taken by the Board of Directors may result in the suspension of membership in MCIA. Any
applicant whose reputation is unsatisfactory will be refused field inspection and the privileges of MCIA.
It is the responsibility of every member of MCIA to abide by the rules, adhere to the standards, and report
irregularities or violations.


Applicants desiring to have their forage and/or mulch certified must apply to the Minnesota Crop Improvement
Association on the application form supplied by the Association. Forms are available upon request from the MCIA
office at 1900 Hendon Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108 or by calling (800) 510 - MCIA. Forms are also available at
the MCIA website at
Field inspection applications must be received four weeks prior to cutting. Late applications may result in the field
inspection not being made. If such inspections can be arranged, a late application fee will be assessed.
A field is defined as the area occupied by one crop, covered by one inspection report and not divided by streams,
public roads, other crops, or other barriers that materially increase the difficulty of inspection. If the certified
forage or mulch field is also being inspected for certified seed production, indicate the corresponding seed
production field number(s) on the application form.
A storage site is defined as any location where harvested certified forage or mulch will be stored pending sale.
Noxious Weed Seed Free Certification Standards 2013 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association FIELD AND STORAGE SITE INSPECTIONS
To be eligible for forage or mulch certification, fields must be inspected by a representative of MCIA before
harvest. A crop that is harvested prior to inspection is not eligible for certification. It is the applicant’s
responsibility to ensure that the crop has been inspected before harvest.
Field inspection is a thorough examination of the forage or mulch production site to confirm compliance with the
certification standards. A visual inspection of the field and entire field border will be made by the inspector.
MCIA’s inspection procedures will follow the guidelines established by the North American Weed Free Forage
Forage, mulch and storage sites shall be free of those noxious weeds and undesirable plant species identified in
Appendix A.
In Minnesota, forage, mulch and storage sites shall be inspected by MCIA. Forage and mulch shall be inspected in the field of origin. The field shall include the surrounding ditches, fence rows, roads, easements, grass waterways, or a buffer zone surrounding the field. The field and storage sites shall be inspected by MCIA within 10 days prior to cutting or harvesting. Fields and storage sites which contain noxious weeds or undesirable plant species (as identified in
Appendix A) may be certified if the following requirements are met:
a. The noxious weeds and undesirable plant species in the field in which the forage or mulch is being
produced were treated to prevent seed formation or seed ripening to the degree that there is no danger of dissemination of the seed or the propagating parts of the plant capable of producing a new plant. b. The noxious weeds and undesirable plant species were treated not later than the rosette to bud stage (or boot stage for grass species classified as weeds) prior to cutting or harvesting. c. The treatment method can include but is not limited to: d. If noxious weeds have not been treated and are present in areas adjacent to the field, an isolation/buffer strip must be established between the crop to be harvested and the area infested with noxious weeds. This strip must be no less than 10 feet wide. The strip may be established by mowing or cultivation. e. Areas such as stack yards, storage sheds and/or bins, shall be inspected at the same time as the field and/or fields prior to stacking or filling them with certified product. These areas shall be free of noxious weeds and/or noxious weed seeds. f. Fields that appear weedy or show poor crop practices, even though noxious weeds are not present, should not be certified. The inspector will document the problems and has the discretion to make this determination. 5. Pellets and pelleted milled feeds must be certified in the field of origin if heat is not used in the process. If heat is used in the processing, pellets and pelleted milled feeds may be certified based on official testing for weed seed viability at a laboratory designated by MCIA. 6. An Inspection Certificate shall be issued by MCIA indicating whether the above requirements have been met based upon field inspection. The Inspection Certificate shall include information as required by the North American Weed Free Forage Program. 7. Baling equipment must be cleaned of any noxious weed seeds prior to harvesting certified forage. If this is not possible the first three small square bales or the first large round or square bale produced shall be considered noncertified and will not be included as a part of a field unit's certified forage. Noxious Weed Seed Free Certification Standards 2013 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association MAINTAINING IDENTITY OF HARVESTED FORAGE

The applicant must keep accurate records of the amount of forage or mulch harvested from each field including
where the product is stored after harvest. The following records must be maintained:
1. The number and average weight of bales harvested. 2. A description or map of the exact location where bales are stored. 3. Date of harvest. 4. Field number and location of the field where the product was produced. 5. Copies of all certification documents. 6. Current inventory records.
Records must be made available to MCIA for inspection upon request.
MCIA shall issue official certification tags to applicants with eligible forage or mulch. Products are not certified
until the certification tags have been attached. Each certification tag shall be numbered with a unique serial
number. Certification tags issued by MCIA shall meet all requirements of the North American Weed Free Forage
Program. In addition, MCIA shall print the following information on each certification tag:
 Inspection Certificate serial number
Applicants shall request certification tags by declaring the amount of forage or mulch harvested on the Inspection
Certificate and submitting it to MCIA. Applicants shall attach tags only to bales harvested from the field indicated
on the tag. Certification tags must be securely attached to eligible product before delivery to the buyer. The
transfer of certification tags not attached to eligible product is prohibited.
Improper use or transfer of
certification tags may result in the suspension or revocation of certification privileges.

Transit Certificates are required when transporting forage into some states. It is the responsibility of those
transporting products into restricted areas to request necessary documents. Upon request, MCIA will furnish
transit certificates to producers of certified products. The Transit Certificates can be provided to buyers of
certified products.

Information regarding fees required for participation in this program is available on request from MCIA and is also
available on the MCIA website (
Noxious Weed Seed Free Certification Standards 2013 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association APPENDIX A

Designated Noxious Weed or Undesirable Plant Species List

The following weeds have been designated as noxious or undesirable in the North American Weed Free Forage
1. Absinth Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) 28. Perennial sorghum (Sorghum almum) 2. Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) 29. Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis) 3. Buffalobur (Solanum rostratum) 30. Plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides) 4. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) 31. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) 5. Common burdock (Arctium minus) 32. Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) 6. Common crupina (Crupina vulgaris) 33. Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) 7. Common tansy (Tancetum vulgare) 34. Quackgrass (Agropyron repens) 8. Dalmatian toadflax (Linaria dalmatica) 35. Rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea) 9. Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa) 36. Russian knapweed (Centaurea repens) 10. Dyers woad (Isatis tinctoria) 37. Scentless chamomile (Matricaria perforata or M. 11. Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) 38. Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) 12. Hemp (marijuana) (Cannabis sativa) 39. Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium) 13. Henbane, Black (Hyoscyamus niger) 40. Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) 41. Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) 15. Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) 42. Skeletonleaf bursage (Ambrosia tomentosa) 16. Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale) 43. Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) 17. Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) 44. Squarrose knapweed (Centaurea virgata) 18. Jointed Goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica) 45. St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum) 19. Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) 46. Sulfur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta) 47. Syrian beancaper (Zygophllum fabago) 21. Meadow knapweed (Centaurea pratensis) 48. Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) 22. Medusa head (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) 49. Toothed spurge (Euphorbia dentata) 24. Musk thistle (Carduus nutans) 51. Wild proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) 25. Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) 52. Yellow hawkweed (Hieracium pratense) 26. Oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) 53. Yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) 27. Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) 54. Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
Additional weeds designated as Prohibited Noxious Weeds under the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law:
1. Black swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae)
2. Brown knapweed (Centaurea jacea)
3. Common teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
4. Cut-leaved teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus)
5. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
6. Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
7. Grecian foxglove (Digitalis lanata)
8. Japanese hops (Humulus japonicus)
9. Meadow knapweed (Centaurea x moncktonii)
10. Narrowleaf bittercress (Cardamine impatiens)
11. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
12. Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
Noxious Weed Seed Free Certification Standards 2013 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association APPENDIX B


1. Be a member of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.
2. Complete the application for field and storage site inspection four weeks prior to cutting. Include:
a. A map indicating location of field. b. A map indicating the location of storage area. c. The field and storage site inspection fee. d. Approximate 3. Prepare the field for inspection. Treat noxious weeds and undesirable plant species (see Appendix A) in and adjacent to the production field as described in the standards. If noxious weeds in adjacent areas are not treated, a 10 foot wide isolation/buffer strip must be established by mowing or cultivation. 4. All fields must be inspected prior to harvest by MCIA to qualify for certification. Notify MCIA if your fields are within a week of cutting and you do not have an Inspection Certificate indicating that the field has been inspected! 5. If the field meets certification standards, proceed to Step 6. If the field does not meet the standards, proceed to the Reinspection Procedures below.
6. Maintain the identity of all forage or mulch harvested from fields meeting the certification standards. The forage or mulch must be stored in an inspected storage site separate from uncertified forage or mulch. A written record of certified material stored at this site much be maintained. 7. Request certification tags by completing and submitting the Inspection Certificate to MCIA. Report the
number and size of the packages/bales from each eligible field. Remember to sign the Inspection
8. Attach the certification tags provided by MCIA to eligible product.


(When a portion of field does not meet the certification standards - i.e.: untreated noxious weeds in the field
and/or lack of required isolation/buffer strips.)
1. Make the required correction(s) as indicated on the Inspection Certificate.
2. Contact the MCIA inspector for reinspection to verify that the required corrections have been completed. A
3. Proceed to Step 6 above.


MCIA will:
1. Supply each grower with instructions and materials for making applications for field and storage site
2. Inspect fields and storage areas. 3. Issue labels for product that qualifies under the certification standards. 4. Publish a directory of producers of certified noxious weed seed free products. 5. Maintain records including field applications, inspection reports and serial numbers of tags issued. Noxious Weed Seed Free Certification Standards 2013 Minnesota Crop Improvement Association


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