Message from Minnesota Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Program
Dear Township Officers,
Under Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-20, food and agriculture are considered critical sectors and essential. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), has a website (https://www.mda.state.mn.us/covid-19-agriculture) that is updated regularly with resources pertaining to food and agriculture, including an MDA Covid Question Line (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Minnesota Farm and Rural Helpline (1-833-600-2670), and the Rural Finance Authority Office (1-651-201-6004). A recent news release (https://www.mda.state.mn.us/minnesota-department-agriculture-continuation-services-during-covid-19-pandemic) outlines the MDA inspections that will continue at this time.
As township inspectors, you are encouraged to contact your county office about closures. Many counties and SWCDs may be able to make appointments by phone and have resources to answer your questions. If you are continuing with duties such as road inspections, we encourage you to incorporate ditch inspections as well to look for weeds. If you have a township or plat map, you can mark on the map areas that have weeds that should be treated (for example, thistles or wild parsnip). Rosettes of noxious weeds are often visible early in the season before the grass grows tall and may be easy to find at this time of year.
In the Noxious Weed Program, all staff are currently directed to work from home 100% of the time. Please visit our webpage (https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants-insects/noxious-and-invasive-weed-program) for contact information and information on the plants on the noxious weed list. All staff are available via email to answer any questions you may have about noxious weeds.
Your local County Ag Inspector is also an excellent local resource. Please visit this page https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/pestmanagement/weedcontrol/cailist for a list of CAIs across the state.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the directors at the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) with any questions you may have. Stay safe and stay healthy!
The 2019 Noxious Weed Program Annual Report is now posted online: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/2020-04/2019NoxWeedStakeholderReportFinal.pdf
Noxious Weed Law Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Agriculture