Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Hay and Straw Weed Phytosanitary Inspection Policy & Procedures

Includes Regional Weed Free Forage Certification Standards

photo of a green weed-free hay tagPhytosanitary Inspection requirements and standards for certification of hay and straw to meet the requirements of the Utah Noxious Weed Act (Utah Code 4-17) and Rules pertaining to this act (68-09). The requirements of the U.S. Forest Service revised closure order N0. 04-00-052 effective January 30, 1995, the Bureau of Land Management beginning November 1998, the SITLA weed free Rule September 2001, and other state and federal agencies will be met by certifying to the standards set forth in State Code and Rule.

A. Upon the request of an applicant, the Department or an authorized representative will inspect hay and straw for compliance with the standards set forth in these procedures and in keeping with the state code and rule

Authorized representative may include; Department quality compliance specialists, county weed supervisors and others who have been designated by the Department to do weed certifications.

The certificates shall document that the following requirements have been met, based upon a reasonable and prudent visual inspection.

B. Definitions:

  1. Certified; shall mean hay or straw that has been inspected and found to be free of mature noxious weed seeds or such parts of noxious weed plants which could cause new growth.

  2. Mature; shall mean that the noxious weeds have exceeded the bud or boot stage of growth at the time of cutting.

  3. Noxious weeds; shall include all noxious weeds designated in Utah and the noxious weeds listed on the regional noxious weed list.

  4. Field inspection; shall mean hay or straw that has been inspected in the field of origin and prior to cutting.

  5. Bale inspection; shall mean inspection of a representative sample of bales in lots of less than 25.

C. Inspection procedure and requirements:

  1. Field Inspection:

    • a. Hay or straw shall be inspected in the field of origin prior to cutting. Each crop cutting of hay must be inspected for certification. The field shall include ditch banks, fence rows, roadways, and easements, rights-of-ways or buffer zones.

      Ditches, fence rows, roads, easements, rights-of-ways or buffer zones surrounding the field of origin must be treated to prevent seed formation or seed ripening to the degree that there is no danger of dissemination of the seed or any injurious portion thereof of such weeds or undesirable plant species.

      Treatment methods can include, but are not limited to: burning, mowing, cutting, rouging, and mechanical or chemicals.

    • b. Each field shall be identified by a name.

    • c. Request for certification inspection shall be made no less than ten days prior to cutting.

    • d. All lots of hay or straw in excess of 25 bales must be field inspected.

  2. Bale Inspection:

    • a. Individual bales of hay or straw may be inspected and certified by breaking the bales for inspection. Bales can then be retied by the owner.

    • b. Bales of hay or straw may be certified by inspecting a representative number of bales from lots consisting of less than 25 bales. Ten percent of the bales must be inspected, with a minimum of 2 bales inspected in lots less than ten bales.

    • (1) Bale inspection for certification will be denied if the applicant objects to the inspector breaking the required number of bales.

D. Certification:

  1. Bulk Load and Stack Certificates:

    • a. State phytosanitary certificates shall be issued on all bulk loads of hay and straw where the identity of the lot is maintained through the use of truck, trailer or rail car numbers.

    • b. State phytosanitary certificates shall be issued on all stack hay and straw when identity of the bales is maintained.

    • c. Federal phytosanitary certificates shall be issued on all stack hay and straw intended for foreign export when identity of the bales is maintained and all requirement of foreign importation are met.

  2. Certification tags:

    • a. Tags will be used on individual bales and lots of less than 25 bales if requested by the applicant.

    • b. The applicant must maintain a record of accountability for all tags issue by the Department.

E. Failure to comply:

Failure to comply with all inspection and certification procedures and standards will be cause for a grower, distributor or inspector to be suspended from the hay and straw certification program.

F. Fees:

  1. Fees for inspection, tags and certification shall be according to established fee schedules. Rule R68-4-11

    Certificates may be valid for contract sales up to ten loads. Fees for inspection of small lots may be charged at the hourly or minimum fee.

    All inspections shall include mileage which will be charged according to the current mileage rate of the state; EXCEPT: Mileage fees for individual bale inspections will not be charged if bales are delivered to an inspection office or other inspection point.

  2. All fees will be collected at the time of inspection or through normal billing by the Department. Failure to pay inspection fees will be cause for an applicant to be suspended from the hay and straw certification program. Delinquent fees will be filed with the Utah State Attorney General’s office for collection.

Effective date: January 1, 1996

Regional Weed Free Forage Certification Standards

Regional Weed Free Forage Certification Standards are required as part of the Utah Hay and Straw Weed Phytosanitary Inspection Policy and Procedures.

Standards:

Forage shall be free of those noxious weeds or undesirable plant species identified on the Regional Noxious Weed List.

  1. Forage shall be inspected in the State/Province of origin by proper officials or authority.

  2. Forage shall also be inspected in the field of origin (field shall include surrounding ditches, fence rows, roads, easement, rights-of-way, or a buffer zone surrounding the field.)

  3. Field shall be inspected prior to cutting or harvesting by the proper officials or authority.

  4. Forage which contains any noxious weeds, or undesirable plant species, as identified on the Regional List, may be certified if the following requirements are met.

    • a. Field upon which the forage was produced was treated to prevent seed formation or seed ripening to the degree that there is no danger of dissemination of the seed, or any injurious portion thereof from such noxious weeds, or undesirable plant species, or the propagation parts of the plant are not capable of producing a new plant.

    • b. Noxious weed(s) or undesirable plant species was treated not later than rosette to bud stage, or boot stage for perennial grass species classified as weeds, prior to cutting or harvesting.

    • c. Treatment method can include but is not limited to: 1) burning, 2) mowing, cutting or rouging, 3) mechanical methods, or 4) chemicals.

  5. An Inspection certificate shall document that the above requirements have been met based upon a reasonable and prudent visual inspection as outlined.

  6. Interstate shipment of forage shall be accompanied by a transit certificate and/or certification marking issued by proper officials or authority in the state/province of origin. Utah uses a pre-numbered certificate and/or a pre-numbered green tag “CERTIFIED” with a one time use padlock.

  7. Exemption:

    • a. Pellets and pelleted milled feeds may be certified in the field or may be certified based on official testing by a state/province seed lab for weed seed viability. Proof of results shall be submitted to the state/province department of agriculture.

  8. If a transit certificate is required, only an original transit certificate will be acceptable. Using a transit certificate or certification marking for forage from fields other than the one specified shall constitute a violation of the regional weed-free forage standards and local authorities may take action.

Field Inspection Standards:

Minimum Guidelines for Field Inspection:
The inspector will follow the following inspection procedures:

  1. There shall be a minimum of two entry points per field.

  2. There shall be a minimum of one entry point per each 10 acres.

  3. Each point of entry shall be at least 150 feet into the field, and each additional 150 feet traveled shall constitute an entry point. Travel shall be uninterrupted, proceeding through the field being inspected.

  4. The entire field border shall be walked or driven.

  5. Field shall be inspected within 10 days prior to harvest.

  6. The storage area shall also be inspected and meet the standards.

  7. An inspector may not inspect fields, of which said inspector, has ownership or a financial interest.