Mulch hay

I'm new here so please forgive if you all discussed this last year, but how do you know if mulch hay is safe? I'd like to get a couple bales of hay, or better yet seed-free straw, for mulching potatoes and peppers. I've always heard that hay is THE thing for mulching. But how do I know if the hay is safe and doesn't have broad-leaf weed killers in it?
Kathy
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First of all, most broad leaf weed killers (as far as I know anyway, everyone please correct me if I am wrong!) are only effective when sprayed on the leaves of the target plants, and they biodegrade with time.
Secondly, if you get feed grade hay, I don't think there are usually week killers in feed hay as it could hurt the livestock???
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K.

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Kathy wrote:

Wheat straw at least will always have wheat seeds in it. But wheat will not grow in the summer, at least in the South. But it will oversummer and sprout in the fall.

If it was sprayed, it was sprayed early so residual effect should not be a problem. If it wasn't sprayed weed seeds can be a problem. An ex hort prof told me to get the second cutting of hay, fewer weeds seeds overall, at least for bermuda hay.
THE thing? Well, lets just say, that any ,ulch is better than none!
John!
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I would think that hay that has been grown for guinea pig or rabbit consumption would be safe. Here are some brands that are often recommended:
Oxbow's timothy hay: www.oxbowhay.com American Pet Diner has timothy and other grass hay: www.americanpetdiner.com Sweet Meadow Hay: www.sweetmeadowfarm.com
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Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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Kathy wrote:

In general, mulch hay was intended for feeding but got wet or spoiled before it was baled, or it may have been baled too far past bloom to be of much nutritional value. High moisture/rain conditions cause mold in the hay and is generally considered unsuitable for both equine and bovine consumption (but for different reasons).
At most, the hay may have been sprayed with proprionic acid which tends to retard mold formation. It's safe for animal consumption. OTOH, if the hay is mulch hay, chances are it doesn't have proprionic acid sprayed on it anyway.
I use my feed hay in the garden as mulch if it happens to mold.
Mary
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