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Noxious Weed Free Certification Program

The use of certified noxious weed free materials is one way to prevent the spread of noxious weeds. This is an especially useful tool in areas where detection and management of these species is difficult. New Mexico is moving ahead with a program to certify hay, erosion control materials and gravel to be free of noxious weeds. Additionally, this will enable New Mexico producers to participate in a niche market for noxious weed free products.

Certification of a forage, erosion control materials and gravel is strictly a voluntary program for producers. Interested growers should contact the NMSUSC to have their crop inspected and certified. A fact sheet on the certification process is available down below. Regulations requiring certified hay on public lands are expected to be implemented by the USDA, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and possibly other federal agencies in the future. Regulations requiring certified mulch for construction and wildfire restoration are already in place with several agencies. New Mexico Department of Agriculture and NMSUSC will have no relation to, nor involvement in enforcement of the regulations requiring certified weed free forage. Requirements for certified weed free forage are specific to federal lands that have passed regulations and construction or restoration projects with certified weed free stipulations. This program will not affect the movement of un-certified forage into or out of New Mexico.

Inspection Process for Producers

New Mexico State University Seed Certification (NMSUSC) program certifies forage products, mulches, erosion control materials and gravel pits. Products certified through this program meet minimum acceptable standards provided by North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA).

Products such as alfalfa, hay and straw are required to be certified at each cutting by contacting NMSUSC 10 days prior to harvest. Annual site/facility inspections are required for mulches, erosion control materials, and gravel pits.

What are the required documents to get started?

To request an inspection, the required documents are available below & can be emailed, faxed or mailed.

Email: seedcert@nmsu.edu, Fax: 575-646-8137 or mailed to: PO Box 30003, MSC 3Ley, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

What are the fees for inspection?

  • Acreage fee = $5.00/acre (less than 1,000 total acres), $4.00/acre (1,000 to 2,500 total acres), or $3.00/acre (greater than 2,500 total acres)
  • Driving time = $20.00/hour
  • Inspection time = $20.00/hour

  • Mileage = $0.50/mile

  • Baler twine = $45.00/roll (Available in 170, 240, and 440 knot strength)
  • Labels = $0.04 each (when appropriate for packaging purposes)
  • Hotel & airfare will be charged when incurred & fees are subject to change.

What should I expect for the inspection?

A trained inspector will inspect the perimeter of the field and the interior of the field for the presence of North American and NM Noxious Weeds, using various patterns depending on the field shape and size. The inspector will provide a copy of the Inspection Certificate to the producer. Transit Certificates are also offered for out-of-state shipping of the certified products. The special twine (Figure 1) and/or labels (Figure 2) provided at the time of inspection are considered, in most cases, the proof of certification of the products within the state. At least one strand of the special twine needs to be placed on each bale of certified hay/straw.

Figure 1
Figure 1
Purple and yellow twine used to certify bales and forges that meet the standards of the North American Weed Free Forage Certification Program
Figure 2
This orange label is used by
This orange label is used in the Certified Noxious Weed Free Program for products that require another form of labeling besides twine. Products with other colors of labels have not been certified by NMSU Seed Certification. It is encouraged that you ask for a Certificate of Inspection that will accompany the products we have certified. You can find an example of the Certificate of Inspection to the left under Weed Free Forage Forms.

Previous and Current Growers

Bio-Grind, Inc., Roger Allen, Ruidoso Downs, NM, (575) 937-3690, (Certified Compost/Mulch)

Charlee's Farm, Cary Pobstman, San Tan Valley, AZ, (480) 341-3498, (Certified Straw)

Curtis & Curtis, Tye Curtis, Clovis, NM, (575) 762-4759 (Grass/Straw Hay)

Dr. John Harlacker, La Mesa, NM (915) 539-1707, (Alfalfa)

Environmental Erosion Controls, LLC, Pertalta, NM (505) 859-0881 (Erosion Control Materials)

Epifanio Romero, Llano, NM (505) 587-2000 (Timothy grass hay)

Felipe Sanchez, Jarales, NM, (505) 250-0265 (Alfalfa)

J-Bar Company, Joe Lambert, Canyon, TX, (806) 655-2022, (Certified Wheat Straw)

J & M Baling, Mike Grady, Farmington, NM (505) 326-0145 or (505) 330-4968 (Straw)

Joe Blair, Lordsburg, NM (520)429-0913 (Alfalfa)

Miller Feed and Supply, Albuquerque, NM, (575) 897-2444, (Alfalfa, Timothy grass)

Mulch & Seed Innovations, Centre, AL, (256) 927-8823, (Erosion Control Slope Stabilizers)

Sierra Feed Store, Truth or Consequences, NM (575) 894-3994 (Alfalfa)

SouthCross Farms, Brad Bingham, Amarillo, TX, (806) 679-5858 (Certified Wheat Straw)

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