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(1)  The following procedures and processes will be required for field unit NWSFF certification:

(a)  When a portion of a field is to be certified, this portion must be plainly marked or separated by a mowed strip or flagged at least 12 feet wide, to avoid cutting and mixing the certified and uncertified portion at harvest.

(b)  Field units must include surrounding ditches, fence rows, roads, easements, rights-of-way and buffer zones of a minimum of 12 feet surrounding the outside edges of a field.

(c)  If the field unit is certified for straw the seed that is harvested from that field unit may be considered for certification.

(2)  Areas such as stack yards, storage sheds and/or bins, shall be inspected at the same time as the field and/or fields prior to stacking or filling them with certified forage. These areas shall be free of noxious weeds and/or noxious weed seeds. Contaminated storage areas will not be approved for storage of certified forage or the certification shall be cancelled if the area is contaminated with noxious weeds and/or noxious weed seeds.

(3)  Harvested lots of certified forage from inspected fields may be tested or inspected at any time during normal business hours by an agent or the department. Evidence that any lot of certified forage has not been protected from contamination or is not properly identified or separated will be cause for certification cancellation.

(4)  The producer is responsible for notifying the agent at least seven days in advance of harvest to allow inspections to be completed.

(5)  Field inspection must be made within seven days prior to harvest.

(a)  For fields to be certified for straw only, notification and field inspections may be made up to two weeks before harvest.

(6)  Fields that have been cut or harvested prior to inspection are ineligible for certification.

(7)  Forms shall be completed by the agent at the time of inspection of each field unit. At the conclusion of the inspection the producer will be provided an invoice for the inspection fees and, if applicable, markers.

(8)  Baling equipment must be cleaned of any noxious weed seeds prior to harvesting certified forage. If this is not possible the first three small square bales or the first large round or square bale produced shall be considered noncertified and will not be included as a part of a field unit's certified forage.

(9)  Combining equipment is to be cleaned of any noxious weed seed prior to harvesting the certified whole grain field(s)  .

(10)  Fields that appear weedy or show poor crop practices, even though noxious weeds are not present, should not be certified under the certification standards. The local agent will document the problems and has the discretion to make this judgment. A producer can challenge this decision and petition the department to assign another agent to reinspect the field.

History: 80-7-909, MCA; IMP, 80-7-905, 80-7-906, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 1361, Eff. 5/24/96; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 2260, Eff. 8/28/98.

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