Weed Seed Free Forage Certification – through MSU Extension Service

Local Powell County MSU extension agent, Jodi Pauley, can inspect and provide certifications for your hay crop on behalf of the Montana Department of Agriculture. The cost for this program is $2.50 per acre with a ten-acre minimum. You can get more details on this program by calling her office directly at (406) 846-9791.

You need to make contact at least seven (7) days before you need your hay certified so there is adequate time to plan an inspection. Access to the field is necessary along with a contact name and phone number. After inspection you’ll be notified of the results. Hay must be standing (un-cut) for inspection and you must either tag your bales or use the appropriate color twine for certified hay. These items may be purchased through MSU Extension Service.

If you want to become a Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage producer, you may wish to contact the Montana Department of Agriculture directly at (406) 444-1313 for more information.

Who needs Weed Seed Free Forage?

Anyone planning to spend multiple nights in the back country on public lands with riding and/or pack stock will likely need to bring along supplemental forage for their animals in this area of Montana. High elevation areas with short growing seasons may not have adequate feed to sustain your animals. Weed seed free feed is now required on all federal lands. For more information on this topic see the Montana Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage website.

Other tips for preventing the spread of noxious weeds in our area:

Ride ATV’s only on approved roads and/or trails on public lands. Be sure to clean them after each use when traveling on public lands. Tire tread and the vehicle’s undercarriage can spread undesirable weed seeds to very remote locations where detection and treatment are unlikely to occur.
Floaters & Boaters know your aquatic invasive species, check for them on your gear and follow preventive measures to protect the resources that you love!
Building & Utility Line Disturbances if you are planning any ground disturbing work in Powell County, chances are fairly high that noxious weeds will invade disturbed areas. Please complete the required Vegetation Management Plan and follow through with your management strategies.
Mowing to reduce seed production Mowing to reduce undesirable weeds before seed set is a great idea. Do it early and often. Remember that all weed species mature at different rates. Once blossoms and/or seed heads have developed, it’s still possible there may be enough energy left in the plant’s stem, even if it’s cut off from the roots, to allow for viable seed production. You should consider another weed control method if the plants are close to maturing.
Clean your mowing equipment frequently  Make sure your weed control equipment is cleaned before moving from one location to another or your best intentions in weed control can quickly become your worst nightmare!

Recommended MSU Extension Publications

MontGuide MT201105AG. Weed Seed Dispersal by Vehicles.
MontGuide MT201106AG. Washing Vehicles to Prevent Weed Seed Dispersal


Weed Board Building
422 Fairgrounds Rd
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Mailing address:
409 Missouri Ave., Suite 105D
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

(406) 846-3348

Your Local Coordinator:
Karen Laitala ‑ Weed Coordinator
Cell – (406) 560-2919
e-mail: klaitala@powellcountymt.gov

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