Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-14-227 No. 12   06/25/2015    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.5.308 and 4.5.313 pertaining to the noxious weed seed free forage fees







TO: All Concerned Persons


          1. On July 16, 2015, at 1:00 p.m., the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, at 302 N. Roberts, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.


2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 9, 2015, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail cojensen@mt.gov.


3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:



          (1) Identification of forage field grown forage or harvested includes the following:

(a) The producer identification number.

          (b) (a) Bales sold in one ton lots or less must be identified individually using a department approved issued identification marker. A completed transportation certificate is required and must specify whether the forage was inspected for Montana or regional noxious weeds.

          (i) If each bale in lots of greater than one ton does not have a numbered tag, a transportation certificate is required.

          (ii) If each bale in a load is individually marked with a numbered tag a transportation certificate is not required.

          (c) Forage sold in bulk, including whole grain, must be accompanied by a completed transportation certificate.

          (i) (b) If colored baler twine is used for marking, only one strand of the colored twine is required per bale. However, a completed transportation certificate is required and must specify whether the forage was inspected for Montana noxious weeds or regional noxious weeds.

          (ii) Loads of bulk hay or straw not marked with colored twine may be identified with identification markers (tags) placed on the four corners of the load.

          (d) All whole grain sold in bags must be marked with a department approved identification marker.

          (e) (c) The producer shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure the whole grain certified forage is not contaminated with noxious weed seeds from the time of harvest and storage including delivery to the buyer.

          (2) Forage identification markers and transportation certificates approved by the department will be sold and distributed, respectively, by the department or its agents. The fee assessed for identification markers shall be commensurate with the actual costs of the markers.

          (3) A noxious weed seed free forage product transportation certificate issued and numbered by the department must contain the following:

          (a) a statement that this forage meets the criteria set by the Montana Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Act;

          (b) name and address of the producer;

          (c) producer identification number;

          (d) name and address of buyer;

          (e) type of forage;

          (f) identification marker (tags, colored baler twine, etc. and labels);

          (g)  security tie with a unique identification number;

          (g) (h) number of bales by type or tonnage or weight of grain concentrate, pellets, or other forage product;

          (h) (i) date of sale;

          (i) (j) seller's signature;

          (j) (k) vehicle operator or driver's signature; this must be signed upon receipt of forage.; and

          (k) (l) a statement that the forage meets Montana or regional certification standards.

          (4) All baled forage sold by a producer to a second party (such as a retail outlet) for resale must be accompanied by the original transportation certificate. The second party (or retail outlet) will photocopy the original transportation certificate and provide this photocopy plus a receipt to third party buyers of the baled forage. Third party buyers must have the photocopy of the transportation certificate and the receipt (to show where the forage was purchased) in their possession when they are transporting or storing forage in a restricted area.

          (5) Identification of forage that has been pelleted, or cubed or other related products shall include the following:

          (a) Certified grain concentrates, pellets, cubes, or other forage byproducts must have a separate label attached showing proof of certification of the contents with the following statement: "MONTANA CERTIFIED Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage NOTE: Certification means this product has been inspected by an agent of the MT NWSFF program using recognized inspection methods and no noxious weed seed was detected."

          (b) For out-of-state pelleted, cubed, or grain concentrate products the label on the product must be in compliance with Montana's standards for Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage. Montana may enter into reciprocal agreements with other states, agencies, and/or provinces that will identify the certification procedures to be used.

          (c) All identification labels for grain concentrates, pellets, cubes, or other forage products manufactured in Montana must be obtained from the department.

          (d)  Transportation of bulk loads of certified grain concentrates and pelleted and cubed materials must be secured with a security tie having a unique identifier once loaded and remain unaltered or unbroken during transit. If bulk materials are intended to be delivered to multiple destinations, a security tie is required between delivery sites. Security ties are to be used in conjunction with required markers and transportation certificates.

(6) remains the same.


AUTH: 80-7-905, 80-7-907, 80-7-908, 80-7-909, MCA

IMP: 80-7-905, 80-7-906, 80-7-907, 80-7-908, MCA


REASON: Costs of identification markers are detailed in administrative rule, allowing users to know what the costs are. Fees are addressed in ARM 4.5.313. Security ties are being implemented for bulk certified concentrates, pellets, and cubes to prevent exposure to contamination and possible adulteration.  Changes in marker requirements will aid in verifying certification and promote traceability.


ECONOMIC IMPACT: It is anticipated there will be a limited amount of bulk certified forage materials that will need a security tie. Given the low volume of security ties needed annually (up to two dozen per year), the department is not proposing a fee for security ties. There is no economic impact associated with the use of security ties. If, in the future, security ties become more widely used and a fee is needed to allow cost recovery, the department will consider implementing a fee for security ties.


There will be an economic impact for loads greater than one ton since each bale will require a marker. Cost is not expected to be significant but cannot be calculated since it will depend on the number of bales and type or marker used.


          4.5.313 FEES (1) through (6) remain the same.

          (7) The cost for grain concentrate analysis shall be paid by the manufacturer. The product marker (label) will be provided by the department or its agent to the manufacturer of certified grain concentrates and pellets at $0.40 per marker (label).

          (8) Only product markers provided by the department or its agents may be used. Fees for markers are as follows:

(a) Twine will be $50/unit;

(b) Tags will be $0.50/tag;

(c) Labels for grain concentrates, pellets, and cubes will be $0.40/label;

(d) Labels for in-state grain concentrates, pellets, and cubes made from certified noxious weed seed free materials that have already been assessed field inspection fees specified in ARM 4.5.313(1), will be:

(i)  $0.15/adhesive label; or

(ii)  $0.25/weather and tear resistant sewn-in label;

(e) Labels for in-state bulk grain concentrates, pellets, and cubes will be $0.20/50 pounds; and

(f) Ties will be provided by the department at no cost.


AUTH: 80-7-905, 80-7-907, 80-7-908, MCA

IMP: 80-7-905, 80-7-907, 80-7-908, MCA


REASON: Listed costs for twine and tags reflect current fees that the department is formally adopting by administrative rule. A distinction is being drawn between grain concentrates, pellets, and cubes made with noncertified materials and those made with certified materials already subject to noxious weed seed free field inspection fees. A new fee is also proposed for adoption to facilitate the movement of bulk pellets and grain based on the needs of new bulk producers.


ECONOMIC IMPACT: There is no economic impact associated with formally adopting fees already established and in use. The department and the advisory council recognize the economic burden of in-state producers who pay both noxious weed seed free forage field inspections and labeling fees. We are proposing lower labeling fees for those in-state producers. There will be a positive economic impact to producers with the proposed change because adhesive label costs will be reduced to $0.15/adhesive label, a savings of $0.25/adhesive label and because sewn-in label costs will be reduced to $0.25/sewn-in label, a savings of $0.15/sewn-in label. The advisory council and department considered a need for a marker system for shipping bulk materials. This represents a new fee to facilitate movement of bulk product. The cost will equate to $8/ton. Approximately 1,530 tons of bulk materials could be sold each year, at an estimated annual cost of $12,240.  The department and the advisory council also considered a request from a producer to have available a sewn-in label.


          4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail cojensen@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., July 23, 2015.


5. Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


7. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


8. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


9. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rules will significantly and directly impact small businesses.


/s/ Cort Jensen                                    /s/ Ron de Yong                        

Cort Jensen                                          Ron de Yong

Rule Reviewer                                       Director

                                                             Department of Agriculture


Certified to the Secretary of State June 15, 2015.



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