Minnesota Contacts:

  • Denise Thiede, Supervisor - Seed Weed & Biotechnology Unit
    Minnesota Department of Agriculture
    Plant Protection Division
    625 Robert Street North
    St. Paul, MN 55155-2538
    T: 651-201-6531
    F: 651-201-6108
    E: denise.thiede@state.mn.us

  • Tina Seeland, Supervisor - Plant and Seed Analysis Unit
    Laboratory Services Division
    MDA/MDH Lab Building
    601 Robert Street North
    St. Paul, MN 55155-2531
    T: 651-201-6404
    F: 651-201-6129
    E: tina.seeland@state.mn.us

  • Dave Frederickson, Commissioner
    Minnesota Department of Agriculture
    625 Robert Street North
    St. Paul, MN  55155-2538
    T: 651-201-6219
    F: 651-201-6118  
    E: dave.frederickson@state.mn.us

  • Fawad Shah, President & CEO
    Minnesota Crop Improvement Association
    1900 Hendon Avenue
    St. Paul, MN  55108
    T: 612-625-7766
    F: 612-625-3748
    E: mncia@umn.edu

Labeling & Distribution Information Survey:

The following responses are provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in regard to general questions about the Minnesota State Seed Law.

Does your state law have a permit/license requirement for seedsmen to distribute seeds in your state?
Answer = YES, with three different categories.

  1. The initial labeler of more than 50,000 lbs. of agricultural seed sold annually in the state must have a permit and pay the fee on the pounds sold for the crop kind category. The rate is based on a fixed rate per acre of crop planted and but listed on a hundred weight sold so the actual rate differs for each crop. Permit is permanent and has a $50 issuance fee. Fees are collected on reports of amounts sold distributed to the permit holder twice each year. Credit for returns of unsold seed is offered.
  2. The initial labeler of less than 50,000 lbs. of agricultural seed sold annually in the state must have an annual permit for a fee of $50.
  3. The initial labeler of vegetable and flower seed, including wild flowers, that are intended for planting by homeowners or home gardeners must have an annual permit for a fee based upon the level of gross sales and the fee ranges from $50 to $2,000 annually.

Does your state offer "Seed Arbitration" as a part of your seed law, or as a separate law?
Answer = YES, a separate law which also applies to livestock and other commodity sales.

Does your law allow for "brand name" labeling?
Answer = Yes, it does allow for it, but the word “brand” must be listed immediately following or directly beneath the brand designation. For non-hybrid crops, if you label and sell by brand name only, you must register the brand name and list "variety not stated" on the label. The annual registration fee is $25 per brand name.

Does your state seed law require "mandatory" variety labeling for agricultural crop kinds?
Answer = YES, but we allow for "variety not stated" in specific circumstances such as for landraces which do not have a variety name (bromegrass, sweet clover, white clover, etc.), proprietary blends, perennial crop seeds when approved by the owner or originator, and lawn seed mixes where no brand name is used.

Does your law allow for "variety not stated" labeling?
Answer = YES but only in specific circumstances.

Does your law allow for "variety unknown" labeling?
Answer = YES

If the variety name is not declared on the label, does your law allow labeling by "crop kind" only?
Answer = NO

Do you allow the use of the abbreviated term "VNS" to be used in place of the phrase variety not stated"?
Answer = NO

What is the "TEST DATE" requirement for agricultural and vegetable seeds in your state?
Answer = For agricultural seed it is twelve months, excluding the month of test. For lawn and turf grass and native grass and for seed it is fifteen months, excluding the month of test. For vegetable and flower seed packed for use by homeowners, it is a packed for date and good only for one year. In all cases, a “Sell By” date may be included on the seed label, but it must coincide with the length of time for which the test is valid.

Does your state seed law have any specific language regulating "GMOs"?
Answer = NO