Colorado offers certification for hay inspectors
Two free training sessions have been scheduled for those wanting to perform weed-free hay and forage inspections: April 7, 2010— 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Monte Vista Coop, 1901 E. Hwy. 160, Monte Vista, CO 81144, and April 20, 2010—9 a.m.-2 p.m., AmericInn, 52000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.
“This training consists of administrative procedures for weed-free hay and forage inspections,” said Don Gallegos, Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Weed Free Forage program administrator. “Those attending need to have a good working knowledge or past experience in weed identification.”
The training sessions include instruction on weed identification and field inspection procedures as well as information on rules and regulations. At tendees who complete the training will then be able to contract with the department for weed-free hay and forage inspections on an as-needed basis.
The Weed Free Forage program inspects forage or mulch before it is harvested to make sure there are no noxious weeds in the mulch or forage. The use of certified weed-free forage and mulch is intended to reduce the spread of weeds on public land or other areas where forage or mulch is used. Initiated in 1993, the program certifies about 40,000 acres each year with the help of more than 100 contracted inspectors.
For more information on the Weed Free Forage program, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/dpi and click on “weed free forage program,” or call Don Gallegos at 303/239-4150. — WLJ