Dry conditions prompts ‘infested hay’ warning to area ranchers
Low precipitation in surrounding areas has been forcing some ranchers to purchase cattle feed from neighbouring provinces, but in doing so they may be inadvertently importing noxious weeds into Alberta. ranchers here to look elsewhere for their feed, purchasing hay from Saskatchewan and Manitoba for cheaper, better quality feed.
But hay purchased from other provinces may be contaminated with prohibited and noxious weeds, regulated under the Alberta Weed Control Act. These include prohib- ited noxious weeds such as knapweed, red bartsia, hawkweeds, and noxious weeds like leafy spurge, burdocks, or scentless camomile.
Kneehill County is warning ranchers of the potential consequences, as these weeds can spread rapidly and be difficult to control once they’re established on Alberta farms. They recommend buyers seek out weed-free certified hay or hay that is known to be free of regulated weeds. They say to be aware of the problem plant species from the source area of hay orders, and to monitor stockpile yards and feeding spaces for the appearance of regulated weed species.
Leafy spurge is one noxious weed which ranchers may accidently be importing into Alberta.