South Dakota Seed Law

Summary: Seed libraries would be regulated under South Dakota law, requiring them to obtain a permit, submit to random inspections and comply with labeling and advertising rules. 

Section 38-12A-11 includes the word "distribute," requiring those who distribute seeds to hold a permit and comply with advertising and labeling regulations. If this word was removed, it might be enough to exempt seed libraries because all of the other code sections refer to "selling" (selling is not defined, so is taken to have it’s ordinary meaning). 

The labeling and advertising requirements include listing the germination percentage and if it is "below standard." 

38-12A-1 Definitions

(1)      "Advertisement," all representation, other than those on the label, disseminated in any manner or by any means, relating to seed within the scope of this chapter;

(2)      "Agricultural seeds," the seeds of grass, forage, cereal, oil, fiber, and other kinds of crop seed commonly recognized within this state as agricultural seed and combinations of such seeds;

(15)      "Label," a tag or other written, printed or graphic representations, in any format whatsoever, accompanying or pertaining to any seed, whether in bulk or in containers purporting to set forth the information required on the label by this chapter;

(19)      "Prohibited noxious weed seed," any weed seed which is prohibited from being present in seed, such as the seeds of weeds which are highly destructive and difficult to control by good cultural practice and the use of herbicides;

 (21)      "Record," any and all information which relates to the origin, transport, treatment, germination, purity, kind, and variety of each lot of seed sold in this state. Such information includes seed samples and records of declaration, labels, purchases, sales, conditioning, bulking, treatment, handling, storage, analyses, tests, and examinations;

(25)      "Seed," all propagation materials, within the context of this chapter ultimately intended for planting purposes;

(26)      "Seed dealer," any person who exposes seed for sale, maintains an unsold inventory and sells seed, or takes and fills orders for seed for a seedsman or seed producer but does not condition or label seed;

(27)      "Seedsman," any person who purchases, conditions, labels, or sells seed as a major part of his business;

(28)      "Seed producer," any person who labels and sells seed only of his own production;

  (36)      "Vegetable seed," the seeds of those crops which are grown in gardens and on truck farms and are generally known and sold under the name of vegetable or herb seed in this state;

38-12A-11.   Seed dealers permit required--Exception--Expiration--Fee. No person may sell, distribute, advertise, solicit orders for, offer for sale, expose for sale, or transport seed without first obtaining from the Department of Agriculture a permit to engage in the business. No permit is required of any person selling or advertising seed of the person’s own production in South Dakota, if the seed is stored or delivered to a purchaser only on or from the farm or premises where grown or the production and sale of seed is not a primary endeavor and primary source of income to such persons. Each permit shall expire on the thirty-first day of December of the year following the date of issue. The biennial fee for a seed permit is: Seedsman-- five hundred dollars; Seed producer-- seventy-five dollars; Seed dealer-- seventy-five dollars.

38-12A-2.   Label required for containers of agricultural seeds--Contents. Each container of agricultural seed which is sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, held for storage, or transported within this state with the intent to sell for sowing purposes shall bear or have attached in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label giving the following information:

             (1)      The name of the kind or kind and variety or kind and "variety not stated" for each agricultural seed component in excess of five percent of the whole and the percentage by weight of each in order of its predominance. Mixtures shall be listed on the label using the term "mixture," "mixed," or "mix";

             (2)      Hybrids shall be labeled as hybrids except if the pure seed contains less than seventy-five percent hybrid seed. If the percentage of the hybrid seed is greater than seventy-five percent, but less than ninety-five percent, the percentage of hybrid shall be labeled parenthetically following the variety;

             (3)      Lot number or other lot identification;

             (4)      Origin as to state or foreign country, if known, of perennials when grown in this state. If unknown, the label shall state that the origin is unknown;

             (5)      Percentage by weight of all weed seed;

             (6)      Name and rate of occurrence of each kind of restricted noxious weed seed, listed under the heading "noxious weed seeds";

             (7)      Percentage by weight of agricultural seeds other than those required to be named on label, listed under the heading "Other Crop";

             (8)      Percentage by weight of inert matter;

             (9)      For each named agricultural seed:

             (a)      Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard and dormant seed;

             (b)      Percentage of hard and dormant seed, if present;

             (c)      The additional statement "total germination and hard and dormant seed" may be stated if desired;

             (d)      The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages;

             (10)      Tetrazolium tests may be substituted for germination tests for the kinds and time prescribed by the secretary in accordance with § 38-12A-20;

             (11)      Name and address of the seedsman or seed producer who labeled the seed.

 38-12A-3.   Label required for containers of lawn and turf seed--Contents. Each container of lawn and turf seed which is sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, held for storage, or transported within this state with the intent to sell for sowing purposes shall bear or have attached in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label giving the following information:

             (1)      The name of the kind or kind and variety for each lawn and turf seed component in excess of five percent of the whole and the percentage by weight of each in order of its predominance. Mixtures shall be listed on the label using the term "mixture," "mixed," or "mix";

             (2)      Lot number or other lot identification;

             (3)      Percentage by weight of all weed seed;

             (4)      Name and rate of occurrence of each kind of restricted noxious weed seed, listed under the heading "noxious weed seeds";

             (5)      Percentage by weight of crop seeds other than those required to be named on label, if present, listed under the heading "other crop";

             (6)      Percentage by weight of inert matter;

             (7)      For each named lawn and turf seed:

             (a)      Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard and dormant seed;

             (b)      Percentage of hard and dormant seed, if present;

             (c)      The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages, or an expiration date, or the year for which the seed was packed for sale listed as "packed for __________";

             (8)      Name and address of the seedsman or seed producer who labeled the seed.

             

38-12A-4.   Label required for containers of vegetable seeds in planting devices--Contents.Each container of vegetable seeds, or of vegetable seeds in preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices, which is sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, held for storage, or transported within this state with the intent to sell for sowing purposes shall bear or have attached in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label giving the following information:

             (1)      The name of the kind and variety for each vegetable seed component in excess of five percent of the whole and the percentage by weight of each in order of its predominance. Mixtures shall be listed on the label using the term "mixture," "mixed," or "mix."

             (2)      Hybrids shall be labeled as hybrid except if the pure seed contains less than seventy-five percent hybrid seed. If the percentage of hybrid seed is greater that seventy-five percent but less than ninety-five percent the percentage of hybrid shall be labeled parenthetically following the variety;

             (3)      Lot number or other lot identification;

             (4)      Percentage by weight of all weed seed when present;

             (5)      Name and rate of occurrence of each kind of restricted noxious weed seed if present, listed under the heading "noxious weed seeds";

             (6)      Name and address of the seedsman or seed producer who labeled the seed;

             (7)      For vegetable seeds in packets as prepared for use in home gardens or household plantings or vegetable seeds in preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:

             (a)      The year for which the seed was packed for sale as "packed for ______" or the percentage germination and the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentage, or an expiration date;

             (b)      For vegetable seeds which germinate less than the standards prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20:

             (i)      Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard and dormant seed;

             (ii)      Percentage of hard and dormant seed, if present;

             (iii)      The words "Below standards" in not less than eight-point type;

             (c)      For seeds placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device in such a way as to make it difficult to determine the quantity of seed without removing the seeds from the medium, mat, tape, or device, a statement to indicate the minimum number of seeds in the container;

             (8)      For each named vegetable seed in containers other than packets prepared for use in home gardens or household plantings and other than preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:

             (a)      Percentage germination exclusive of hard and dormant seed;

             (b)      Percentage of hard and dormant seed, if present;

             (c)      The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages.

             

38-12A-5.   Label required for containers of flower seeds or flower seeds in planting devices--Contents. Each container of flower seeds or flower seeds in preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices which are sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, held for storage, or transported within this state with the intent to sell for sowing purposes shall bear or have attached in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label giving the following information:

             (1)      The name of the kind and variety for each flower seed or a statement of type and performance characteristics. Mixtures shall be listed on the label using the term "mixture," "mixed," or "mix";

             (2)      Hybrids shall be labeled as hybrids except if the pure seed contains less than seventy-five percent hybrid seed. If the percentage of hybrid seed is greater than seventy-five percent but less than ninety-five percent, the percentage of hybrid shall be labeled parenthetically following the variety;

             (3)      The percentage by weight of pure seed, except this may be omitted if that percentage meets standards prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20;

             (4)      Lot number or other lot identification;

             (5)      Percentage by weight of all weed seed when present in flower seed;

             (6)      Name and rate of occurrence of each kind of restricted noxious weed seed if present, listed under the heading "noxious weed seeds";

             (7)      The year for which the seed was packed for sale listed as "Packed for ____," or the month and the year the percentages for germination were determined by test, or an expiration date;

             (8)      For flower seeds for which standard testing procedures are prescribed and which germinate less than the standard prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20, the percentage of germination exclusive of hard and dormant seeds and the words "below standard" in not less that eight-point type;

             (9)      The name and address of the seedsman or seed producer who labeled the seed;

             (10)      For seeds placed in a germination medium, mat, tape or other device in such a way as to make it difficult to determine the quantity of seed without removing the seed from the medium, mat, tape, or device, a statement to indicate the minimum number of seeds in the container.

38-12A-10.   Exceptions to labeling requirements. The provisions of §§ 38-12A-2 to 38-12A-6, inclusive, do not apply to:

             (1)      Seed or grain not intended for sowing purposes;

             (2)      Seed in storage in or being transported or consigned to a conditioning establishment for conditioning, provided that the invoice or labeling accompanying any lot of seed bears the statement "seed for conditioning" and provided that any labeling or other representation which may be made with respect to the unconditioned seed shall be subject to this chapter;

             (3)      Seed which is in the possession of a seedsman or seed producer and has been conditioned or carried over from a previous sales season or is being transported to another seedsman provided that the seed is not exposed to consumers and that either a test to determine label information is in progress or that the records or a representative label with or accompanying each lot contain current label information;

             (4)      Any carrier with respect to seed transported or delivered for transportation in the ordinary course of its business as a carrier, provided that the carrier is not engaged in producing, conditioning, or marketing seeds subject to this chapter;

             (5)      A farmer, when certain large or coarse seeds prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20 that do retain their identity are grown, sold and delivered by that farmer on his own premises to a seedsman or consumer. Such seeds, if taken to community sales for sale or if publicly advertised for sale or containing "noxious weeds" shall be labeled in accordance with this chapter.

Note: each labeling section recites "intent to sell" the seed, so the labeling requirements arguably do not apply to seed libraries. However, a specific exception is not listed for those who are merely distributing seeds.

38-12A-12.   Contents of advertisement by person excepted from seed permit. 

Any person excepted from a seed permit pursuant to § 38-12A-11 who advertise seed in this state shall comply with this chapter. The advertisement shall include but not be limited to:

             (1)      Kind, or kind and variety, or kind and "variety not stated";

             (2)      Percentages of purity and germination;

             (3)      The percentage by weight of other crop seed, if present;

             (4)      The rate of occurrence of any restricted noxious weed seed, if present;

             (5)      The percentage by weight of all weed seed, if present;

             (6)      The name and telephone number or the name and address of the person commissioning the advertisement.

Violations - Misdemeanor

38-12A-16.   Unlawful sale, offer for sale, or transportation for sale of seed within state--Violation as misdemeanor. It is unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, or transport for sale any seed within this state:

             (1)      Unless a test to determine the percentage of germination has been made within specified time limits prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20, or the seed is sold only in the year for which the label states that it was packed, or the seed is sold before the expiration date stated on the label;

             (2)      Which is not labeled in accordance with the provisions of this chapter;

             (3)      Which has a false, misleading, or incomplete label;

             (4)      Which a false or misleading advertisement has been used in respect to its sale;

             (5)      Which contains prohibited noxious weed seeds in any amount;

             (6)      Which consists of or contains restricted noxious weed seeds in excess of standards prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20, or in excess of the number declared on the label attached to the container of the seed or associated with the seed;

             (7)      Which contains weed seeds in excess of standards prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20, or in excess of the amount declared on the label;

             (8)      If any label or advertisement represents such seed to be certified unless the certification has been determined by an official certifying agency and the seed bears an official label issued for the seed by that agency stating that the seed is certified;

             (9)      If a United States certificate of plant variety protection has been applied for or issued in accordance with the plant variety protection act for the kind and variety being sold, except with the approval of the owner of the variety or except by variety name as a class of certified seed in accordance with Title V of the Federal Seed Act.

     A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

38-12A-18.   Additional civil penalty. In addition to the criminal penalties imposed under this chapter, a person is subject to a further civil penalty to the State of South Dakota as prescribed by the secretary pursuant to § 38-12A-20 not to exceed ten times the retail value of any seed involved in the violation or a maximum of one thousand dollars per violation.