There is a growing demand within Alberta and across North America for hay that has been inspected and certified as weed free. The spread of weeds through hay has been well documented and the associated costs have increased demand for access to a weed free product.
To meet this demand, Rocky View County together with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development administers a voluntary weed free hay inspection and certification program which aims to:
- provide a premium product that is recognized as marketable and transportable
- prevent the spread of weeds and undesirable plant species
- protect private and public lands from invasive plant species
- increase awareness of the environmental impact of non-native, invasive plant species
Buying and Selling
The use of certified weed-free hay is a sound management practice anywhere in Alberta, benefiting both private and public lands. Weed-free hay can:
- Be a preferred product choice
- Bring a premium when sold
- Prevent weeds from spreading within the farm and between farms
- Prevent invasive species from becoming established in riparian and other environmentally sensitive areas
Listings of hay for sale or purchase are available on the Alberta Hay and Pasture Directory.
Producers wishing to have their hay certified as weed-free can contact Agricultural Services at 403.230.1401 to arrange an inspection.
- Fields must be inspected a maximum of 10 days prior to cutting.
- Fields found to be free of viable seed or other reproductive parts of plants identified as noxious or prohibited noxious weeds may be certified.
- Certification is based on visual inspection by qualified personnel using a standard inspection procedure.
- A certificate of inspection is issued to the producer if the field meets the requirements.
Once certified, weed-free hay can be bound with a special coloured twine, or labeled with a specific tag for easy identification.