Weed-free mulch needed for lands burned by fires | TheFencePost.com

Weed-free mulch needed for lands burned by fires

Colorado Department of Agriculture

Tons of weed-free mulch are needed to prevent erosion on land burned by the wildfires this year. The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is encouraging Colorado producers who have weed-free mulch to contact their local U.S. Forest Service, which is looking to purchase hundreds of tons of weed-free mulch.

“Mulch is the most economic way to provide cover and prevent erosion,” said Don Gallegos, CDA coordinator of the Certified Weed-Free Forage Program. “Although small squares are ideal, other size bales will probably be needed as well.”

To participate in the state’s weed-free program, growers must contact the CDA for an inspection prior to harvest. The inspection ensures that there are no propagative plant parts of noxious weeds. The use of certified weed-free forage and mulch is intended to reduce the spread of weeds in national parks or other areas where it is used.

Noxious weeds harm native plant communities and wildlife habitat, reduce crop yields and land values, damage watersheds, increase soil erosion and poison or possibly kill animals.

“This is a great opportunity for producers to expand their markets,” said Gallegos. “We’re hoping that there is enough straw from the wheat and barley harvests this year to meet the demand of the U.S. Forest Service.”

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Contact the CDA Certified Weed-Free Forage Program at (303) 239-4149 for more information or to setup an inspection. For a complete listing of U.S. Forest Service offices in Colorado, go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/.