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Seed Regulatory and Testing
The primary purpose of the Louisiana Seed Law is to protect seedsmen, farmers and individuals from purchasing poor quality or mislabeled seed. The law and regulations set requirements and standards for the sale of seed for planting purposes. Statewide enforcement is accomplished, whereby inspectors of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF) pull random samples of seed being offered for sale. These samples are sent to the State Seed Testing Laboratory for analysis.
Enforcement action for the mislabeling of seed or seed lots that are out of tolerance for germination percentages or purity content will require a STOP-SALE ORDER issued by the Louisiana Seed Program.
State Seed Testing Laboratory
The State Seed Testing Laboratory performs tests on three types of seed samples.
- Regulatory or “Official” Samples. Samples taken by LDAF inspectors from unopened, labeled lots of seed being offered for sale. Tests for both purity content and germination percentages are performed.
- Certified Samples. Samples taken from seed lots that have passed seed certification field inspection standards, specific for the crop kind and variety. These samples are also taken by LDAF inspectors.
- Service Samples. Samples sent in by seedsmen, farmers and individuals requesting a seed test. These samples are not required to be taken by LDAF inspectors. Test results from these samples may be used to provide information for official labeling of seed. Requests can be made for a variety of seed tests including, but not limited to a complete analysis (purity and germination), germination only, purity only, vigor test, red rice exam and tetrazolium test. For more information see the list of services and fees for the available tests.
In addition to the requirements of the Act, any person who sells, distributes, or offers or handles for sale agricultural seed within this state for planting purposes shall pay an inspection fee thereon in accordance with the following:
- All seed dealers shall pay an inspection fee of $.25 for each 100 pounds of agricultural seed sold, offered for sale, exposed for sale, or otherwise distributed for sale for planting purposes within this state. The inspection fee shall be due on the total pounds of first point of sales distributions in Louisiana by the seller of the seed. Exception: The payment of an inspection fee is not required for a person who offers for sale, sells, or distributes Louisiana certified tagged seed upon which inspection fees have already been paid.
- Records must be kept by the seed dealer showing the total pounds of each lot identified as to the kind and variety (when applicable). In addition, for auditing purposes, records must be kept by the seed dealer showing the invoice number for each distribution of seed, identified with the name of the kind and variety (when applicable), the lot number, pounds of seed, and number of containers of seed, and the person, to whom the seed was distributed.
- Each seed dealer shall file with the department a quarterly report (supplied by the department) covering the following periods: 1st quarter July, August, September; 2nd quarter October, November, December; 3rd quarter January, February, March; 4th quarter April, May, June. Reports and fees shall be filed with the department no later than 30 days following the end of each quarter. The department may assess a 10 percent additional charge for late reports. If a seed dealer has no sales during the quarterly reporting period the department must be notified accordingly.