Dry con­di­tions prompts ‘in­fested hay’ warn­ing to area ranch­ers

The Drumheller Mail - - AGRICULTUR­E & FARM - Kyle Smylie The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

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.

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