Montana Seed Law

Text of Montana Seed Law:

Text of Montana Seed Rules:

80-5-120. Definitions: 

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply: 

     (1) "Advertisement" means a representation, other than a representation on the label, that is disseminated by any means and that relates to seed governed by the provisions of this chapter. 

     (2) "Agricultural seeds" means the seeds of grass, forage, cereal, fiber crops, and any other kinds of seeds commonly recognized within this state as agricultural seeds. The term includes lawn seeds and mixtures of seeds. 

     (3) "Approximate percentage" and "approximate number" mean the percentage or number with the variations above and below that value as allowed according to the tolerance limits defined in the rules for seed testing adopted by the association of official seed analysts. 

     (4) "Bulk" means not packaged in separate units. 

     (5) "Certifying agency" means: 

     (a) an agency authorized under the laws of a state, territory, or possession of the United States to officially certify seed and that has standards and procedures to ensure the genetic purity and identity of the seed certified; or 

     (b) an agency of a foreign country determined by the department to adhere to procedures and standards for seed certification that are comparable to those adhered to generally by the seed certifying agencies described in subsection (5)(a). 

     (6) "Conditioning" means drying, cleaning, scarifying, and other operations that could change the purity or germination of a seed and require the seed lot to be retested to determine labeling. 

     (7) "Controlling the pollination" means to use a method of hybridization that will produce pure seed that is at least 75% hybrid seed. 

     (8) "Dormant" means viable seeds, excluding hard seeds, that fail to germinate when provided the specified germination conditions for the seed in question. 

     (9) "Flower seeds" means seeds of herbaceous plants grown for their blooms, ornamental foliage, or other ornamental parts and that are commonly known and sold under the name of flower seeds in this state. 

     (10) "Genuine grower declaration" means a statement signed by the grower that indicates, for each lot of seed, the lot number, kind, variety, origin, weight, year of production, date, and destination of shipment. 

     (11) "Germination" means the emergence and development from the seed embryo as evidence of vitality when the seeds are subjected to the proper moisture and temperature conditions with proper aeration for the customary length of time for each specific kind of seed, as specified in the rules for seed testing adopted by the association of official seed analysts. 

      (12) "Kind" means one or more related species or subspecies that are known singly or collectively by one common name, such as corn, oats, alfalfa, and timothy. 

     (13) "Labeling" means a tag or other device, attached to or written, stamped, or printed on a container or accompanying a lot of bulk seeds, that purports to set forth the information required on the seed label under 80-5-123 and that may include any other information relating to the labeled seed. 


80-5-123. Label requirements for agricultural, vegetable, flower, and indigenous seeds: 


 1)  Each container of agricultural, vegetable, flower, and indigenous seeds sold in this state for sowing purposes must bear a conspicuous, unaltered label or tag, plainly written or printed in English. Bulk sales must be accompanied by the required label information, which must be given to the seed purchaser. The following information, which may not be modified or denied in the labeling or on another label attached to the container, must be included on a label: 

     (a) name and address of the seed labeler; 

     (b) lot number identification; 

     (c) germination rate and date of germination test or a notation of the year for which the seed was packaged for sale; 

     (d) state or country of origin; 

     (e) notice calling attention to the requirement for alternative dispute resolution under 80-5-501; and 

     (f) seed kind or variety.


80-5-125. Exchange of seed between labelers. 

     1) When seed is exchanged or transferred from one seed labeler to another, it shall be accompanied by a shipping document which clearly shows the kind(s) of seed and quantity of each kind. Each container of seed in a lot shall carry a lot number designation. 


80-5-130. Licensing -- application -- fee. 

(1) All facilities located in the state that condition agricultural seed shall obtain a license from the department for each facility. However, a seed grower, when conditioning only seed from that grower’s own production, is not required to be licensed under this part. 

     (2) Each seed conditioning plant shall post in a conspicuous location in the facility: 

     (a) its fees for conditioning services; and 

     (b) the license for the facility. 

     (3) A person whose name and address appear on the label of agricultural seed sold in Montana, as required by 80-5-123, shall obtain a seed labeler’s license from the department before doing business in Montana. The following persons, however, are excluded from the licensing requirements under this subsection: 

     (a) a Montana certified seed grower when labeling certified seed from that grower’s own production; 

     (b) any person who updates germination test data by affixing to the package of seed a supplemental label bearing new germination data, the lot number, and the person’s name and address; or 

     (c) a Montana grower who labels seed only of that labeler’s own production with a gross annual sales value of $5,000 or less. 

     (4) A person who sells agricultural seed in Montana shall obtain a seed dealer’s license from the department for each place where seed is located or sold, except for: 

     (a) a person who sells seed only in sealed packages of 10 pounds or less; 

     (b) a person who sells seed that has a gross sales value of $1,000 or less a year; 

     (c) a person who sells seed only to a Montana-licensed seed dealer, labeler, or conditioner; or 

     (d) a Montana grower selling only seed of that grower’s own production with a gross annual sales value of $5,000 or less. 

     (5) (a) Except as provided in this subsection (5), the fee is $55 a year for each type of license. The department may by rule adjust the license fee by type of license to maintain adequate funding for the administration of this part. The fee may not be less than $55 a year or more than $75 a year. 

     (b) Except as provided in this subsection (5)(b), the license fee for an out-of-state person selling seed in Montana is $110 a year. 


80-5-136. Administration -- stop sale order -- violation -- cancellation of license -- enforcement. 

     (1) The department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this part and the rules promulgated under this part. 

     (2) The department may issue and enforce a written or printed stop sale order to the owner or custodian of any lot of seed that the department finds to be in violation of this chapter. The order shall prohibit further sale or movement of the seed until the department has evidence that this chapter has been complied with. Upon proper correction by reconditioning, labeling, or otherwise and when in the judgment of the department the requirements of this chapter have been met, the stop sale order must be lifted and the seed may be sold. If a violation cannot be corrected after adequate opportunity has been provided, the department may order the destruction of any lot of seed remaining in violation. An order for the destruction of a lot of seed is subject to the contested case provisions of Title 2, chapter 4, part 6. 

     (3) Distribution of seeds that are not legally labeled or failure to comply with this chapter or rules issued under its authority constitutes sufficient grounds for the department to cancel or deny a license to a licensee, provided that the licensee is given a reasonable opportunity to correct inadvertent and nonrecurring deficiencies. 

     (4) A person who violates or aids in the violation of any provision of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter is subject to one or both of the following penalties: 

     (a) an administrative civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each offense. Assessment of a penalty under this subsection (4)(a) may be made in conjunction with any other warning, order, or administrative action by the department under the authority of this part. 

     (b) a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $300 plus costs of prosecution for the first violation and not less than $500 or more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution for each subsequent violation.