Weed-free forage certification requires a field inspection

I have had several inquiries on certified weed-free forage. There is a growing demand for the use of certified wood-free forage and mulch as a preventative program in integrated weed management systems to limit the spread of weeds.

If you would like your forage or mulch to be certified to the North American Weed Free Forage Standards, then we have to contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture, which is the certifying agency in Kansas.

In order for your forage to be certified, a field inspection must be done within 10 days of harvest. To request an inspection, you must complete an application that I have here in the office.

One popular myth is that your hay or mulch has to be completely free of noxious weeds. The truth is that weeds can be present but not at a stage of producing viable seed-and thus the narrow 10-day window.

As is the case with everything, there is a cost to this, and it must be weighed against potential benefits. If you are interested or have further questions, contact the Marion County Extension Office.

n Bagworms. The past couple of years have seen a major increase in bagworms. Following another mild winter, many are predicting this spring will be more of the same.

This increase is caused by the small brown bags that hang on your cedar and juniper trees. These bags contain several hundred eggs. Worms will probably start emerging by mid- to late-May.

There are many insecticides that are labeled for bagworm control. Orthene, Sevin and Diazinon are a few that come to mind. Generally, spraying in mid-June should be sufficient.

Last year I heard reports of having to spray twice, which probably happens for two reasons.

The first reason is the spraying was done too early. If we spray when we first see the bagworms emerge in mid-May, we are not getting any control on those that emerge later.

The second reason is inadequate coverage. Tree sprayingshould be done in a manner that will provide adequate coverage and enough pressure to penetrate the dense foliage to reach the interior of the tree.

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