Recreational horse owners that trail ride in a number of federal and state parks may need to provide their animals certified Weed Seed Free Forage. Using Weed Seed Free Hay in the parks helps to control the spread of invasive weeds into native prairie and rangelands. All certified hay is inspected prior to cutting for presence of certain weeds. If any of the listed weeds are in the pre-bloom or seed production stage the hay can be certified. If any weeds are in the bloom stage the field is not certified, it can then be cut as regular hay. All hay bales are tagged to prove certification.
Grain straw or other plant material to be used as mulch can also be certified as Weed Seed Free Forage. Inspection criteria is the same for hay lands. The program is administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Forage producers and inspectors are listed on the NDDA website.
Forage producers that wish to have their lands inspected and certified as Weed Seed Free Forage can contact the Cass County Weed Control office.