Wild Bird Feeding Industry
WBFI and Noxious Weed Seeds in Bird Feed
WBFI’s Position on Noxious Weed Seed in Bird Seed Products
July, 2008

WBFI will work with all government Weed Control agencies to identify relevant issues and to coordinate the dissemination of this information to the industry and to work cooperatively to resolve these issues in a timely manner to the benefit of the birds, the citizens, and the environment.

WBFI’s Noxious Weed Seed Workgroup monitors noxious weed seed legislation across the US and Canada. The individuals serving on this WBFI workgroup are very knowledgeable of the issues of noxious weed seeds as well as the realities of crop production and elevator processing. We invite your comments and questions on this issue.

Oregon HB 2289
This bill moved through the Oregon legislature during 2007. The provisions of Oregon HB2289 are of interest to persons doing business in Oregon because the bill establishes a requirement for registration of both the company and any mixed feeds. Proposed fees are included in the legislation. Please note that wild bird feed consisting of unmixed seeds is exempt from registration. Click here to go to the complete language of Oregon HB2289.

Language in the rules singles out wild bird feed that is found to contain noxious weed seeds in amounts established in the rules to be an adulterant. WBFI along with representatives from The Scotts Co. and Global Harvest testified at a public hearing on the proposed rules in Salem OR on Monday, February 25, 2008. The proposed rules were made final when filed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture with the Oregon Secretary of State on May 15, 2008, published on June 1, 2008, and take effect on January 1, 2009. The rules adopt by reference the Prohibited and Restricted noxious weed lists in OAR 603-056-0205. The rules provide limited enforcement in 2008 as long as the product is registered with the Department of Agriculture as also required by Oregon law.

Adopted: OAR 603-058-032 Adulterants

(1) Wild Bird Feed. Pursuant to ORS 633.045(7) a person may not sell or otherwise distribute wild bird feed containing viable noxious weed seeds that exceed the amounts stated in this rule.
(2) “Wild bird feed” is defined in ORS 633.006(20).
(3) Wild bird feed sold or distributed to the final consumer shall contain:
(a) No viable prohibited noxious weed seed listed in OAR 603-056-0205 (1) Prohibited noxious weed seeds.
(b) No more viable restricted noxious weed seed than the maximum allowable number of seeds per pound specified by species in OAR 603-056-0205 (2) Restricted noxious weed seeds.

Here is the link to the Oregon commercial feed law: Please scroll down to 603-058-032.

Idaho State Department of Agriculture
On Friday, February 24, 2006 the Idaho State Department of Agriculture issued a press release ordering two dozen companies to stop the sale in Idaho of bird and other animal feeds that contained viable noxious weed seeds according to tests conducted by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. Click here to view the news release.

The State of Idaho has developed a very comprehensive 35-page strategic plan for dealing with noxious weeds in their state.

The news release states that the Idaho State Seed Lab had sampled 92 feeds from 34 manufacturers and concluded that 54 of the 92 seed-type feed samples contained viable noxious weed seeds including:

  • Buffalobur
  • Jointed Goatgrass
  • Field Bindweed
  • Johnsongrass
  • Canada thistle
  • Hoary Cross

In discussions with a representative of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, WBFI learned that the problem is occurring in seed mixes containing Millet.

Upon further investigation by the WBFI, it was learned that in crop production years in which drought or severe heat stress occurs, Buffalobur presence in fields increases. The millet crops have been under drought stress for the past several years.

WBFI’s Response
On behalf of WBFI Members and the industry, WBFI has issued a response to the State of Idaho and has enacted a communications plan to inform growers, elevators, and handlers of bird seed of this issue, asking for their assistance in remedying this situation.