So what is the big deal about certified weed free forage?
Prevention is the most economical and proactive method of controlling invasive species by never letting them into this area in the first place. “Feed Weed Free” and “Play, Clean, Go” are the two best ways you can prevent the spread of invasive species.
In Wyoming, Teton County is one of the few county’s with a weed free forage quarantine. This quarantine goes hand-in-hand with weed free regulations on all federal lands and means that importation of uncertified hay/straw is illegal. It’s not just good stewardship to utilize and import/transport weed free, it’s economical too. In the article “Weed Management -The Cost of Doing Nothing” it is noted that if you assume a 30%
expansion rate for an invasive, a 10 year delay in starting control resulted in a $170,000 first-year cost. (Brian Mealor, Assistant Professor, Invasive Weed Ecology and Extension Weed Specialist at the University of Wyoming weedcontrolfreaks.com)
Invasive species cost the United States billions of dollars annually, so an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure. Thankfully the citizens of Teton County had the foresight to support the Weed and Pest District Board’s Hay Quarantine in 1988 (W.S. 11-5-116 and W.S. 11-5-117). This quarantine restricts the entry of non-certified hay or straw into Teton County. The hay quarantine was put into effect to control the entry of infested farm products through implementing a certification program. Certified weed free forage products include: straw, alfalfa/grass hay, forage pellets/cubes, alfalfa hay, grain hay, and grass hay. This act has protected thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in our backcountry and our backyards over the last 27 years. Without it, Teton County would be a very different place today.
Do you need to find where to purchase Certified Weed Free Forage in Teton County? For large quantities, please call Teton County Weed & Pest office at 307-733-8419 Tuesday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to get information on local growers. Small quantities of alfalfa and grass bales, cubes, and straw can be purchased at Flat Creek Saddle Shop, Jackson Hole Feed & Pet and Big R sells only certified hay cubes. Make sure that any hay you purchase has one strand of yellow and purple twine or a tag on each bale to ensure that it is certified. We’ll see you at the Teton County Fair!