Who is the designated and regulatory authority that provides the NWFF&M Certification in Ohio?
The Ohio Seed Improvement Association (OSIA) is the only official designated authority to perform the NWFF&M Certification program in Ohio. OSIA is authorized to perform this function by way of a memorandum of agreement with the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA). Only mulch products produced by OSIA members, passing Certification, and properly identified are legally termed “Certified.”
How can interested parties participate in the NWFF&M program?
Only Board approved Active or Limited members of OSIA may participate in the program. Applicants are required to complete a new membership form, provide references, submit to a facility and equipment site inspection, secure a majority vote of the OSIA Board of Directors, and pay an annual membership fee before they can participate in the program. OSIA only seeks participants who are adequately equipped, knowledgeable, financially sound, quality minded, ethical and willing to conform to regulatory and communication requirements that are indicative of their ability to produce a quality product that meets the program and end users requirements. OSIA is certifying both the applicant’s honesty and the final mulch product. Interested parties should contact OSIA and request information and membership forms regarding this program.
What Ohio produced mulch products can be certified as noxious weed free?
The most common Certified mulch is straw derived from small grain fields such as wheat, rye, oat, spelt, barley or special crop mixtures. Grass or legume hay, cubes and pelleted forage products are also eligible for certification.
Who are Ohio sources or NWFF&M participants?
OSIA publishes an Annual Directory listing the contact information for all current year’s NWFF&M participants. Other regional crop improvement agencies are also potential sources for Certified NWFF&M products.
How can end users confirm that they are obtaining Certified Noxious Weed Free Forage and Mulch?
There are three options available to producers to identify Certified product. The first is the use of a Transit Certificate issued by OSIA. Only an original copy of the Transit Certificate is to accompany each mulch shipment. Interstate shipments also require a Transit Certificate. Secondly, producers may use a small adhesive tag attached to each bale. Bale tags must be attached to bales prior to shipment. It is a violation for unattached tags to be conveyed by a truck driver, or offered for sale on uncertified product. Tags are valid only if they are attached to bales. Bale tags are charged at $0.15 each. The third option is the use, if available, is a single strand of purple and yellow twine on each bale. The Certified purple and yellow twine costs approximately 25 percent more than regular twine, since it is produced in limited quantities and is available only through OSIA by way of upfront prepayment. Call for information on colored twine.
What is the schedule for the field inspection program?
OSIA Active and Limited members must annually submit an application, map and directions for each field entered. Applications for early harvested mulch crops are due by May 1. Applications for small grain crops are due June 1. An OSIA inspector must inspect a field within ten days prior to harvest. If no noxious weeds with seed are detected, the inspector will issue a passing Certificate of Inspection. A field will be certified or rejected according to the North American Standard. The applicant will receive a copy of the field inspection report.
What are the fees for certifying a field?
Contact OSIA for an annual service fee list. Prices are annually subject to change.
What are the benefits of Certified Mulch Products?
The OSIA Certification program provides for a third party, non-biased field inspection on each mulch field entered in Ohio by the applicant. This is a visual inspection for noxious weeds bearing seed. Field inspection is visual sampling and assessment of the site and may not guarantee the complete absence of undesirable weed species in a specific field. However, the NWFF&M program minimizes the risk for the spread of difficult to control and invasive noxious weeds. In addition, the program does not claim that there will not be common (not noxious or restricted) weeds in the mulch products.