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Montana Contacts:

  • Bob Ballensky
    Montana Department of Agriculture
    Agricultural Sciences Division
    P.O. Box 200201
    Helena, MT 59620-0201
    T: 406-444-3950
    F: 208-738-8920
    E: bballensky@mt.gov

  • Greg Ames, Division Administrator
    Montana Department of Agriculture
    Agricultural Sciences Division
    P.O. Box 200201
    Helena, MT 59620-0201
    T: 406-444-3144
    F: 406-444-5409

  • Ron Larsen, Seed Certification Manager
    Montana Seed Growers Association
    MSU-Marsh Labs
    P.O. Box 173146
    Bozeman, MT 59717-3146
    T: 406-994-3516
    F: 406-994-1725
    E: rlarson@montana.edu

  • Ron Larson, Seed Laboratory Supervisor
    Montana State Seed Lab
    MSU-Marsh Labs, Room 40
    Bozeman, MT 59717-3145
    T: 406-994-2141
    F: 406-994-3786
    E: rlarson@montana.edu

  • Ron de Yong, Director
    Montana Department of Agriculture
    P.O. Box 200201
    Helena, MT 59620-0201
    T: 406-444-3144
    F: 406-444-5409

Labeling & Distribution Information Survey:

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

VARIETY LABELING
Does your state seed law require "mandatory" variety labeling for agricultural crop kinds?
Answer = YES, Montana law requires mandatory variety labeling for: Barley; Bean, field; Beet, field; Canola; Corn, field; Oats; Peas, field; Safflower; Soybean; Sunflower and Wheat

Does your law allow for "variety not stated" labeling?
Answer = YES, wheat and oats may be labeled as "vns" if also labeled "mixed"

Does your law allow for "variety unknown" labeling?
Answer = NO

If the variety name is not declared on the label, does your law allow labeling by "crop kind" only?
Answer = YES

Do you allow the use of the abbreviated term "VNS" to be used in place of the phrase "variety not stated"?
Answer = YES

ARBITRATION
Does your state offer "Seed Arbitration" as a part of your seed law, or as a separate law?
Answer = YES, Montana has a requirement for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Arbitration, that is a part of the Agricultural Seed Act. ADR was passed during the 2001 legislature and became effective in October of 2001.

If yes, is it mandatory?
Answer = YES, Alternative Dispute Resolution is mandatory, but it is non-binding. The findings of the ADR council are admissible if a case goes through the Judicial system

Do you allow the use of the "arbitration label notice" as referenced in RUSSL?
Answer = YES, Due to space constraints on various existing labels Montana allows the following abbreviated statement: NOTICE: Under the seed laws of Montana, Alternative Dispute Resolution (Title 80, Chapter 5, Section 501 et seq. MCA) is required as a precondition of taking certain legal actions against a seller of agricultural seed. Contact the Montana Department of Agriculture for further information.

Does your arbitration law have any unique or special requirements?
Answer = NO

PRE-EMPTION LEGISLATION
Does your state have “pre-emption” legislation to restrict local political subdivisions from regulating seed?
Answer = NO

BRAND LABELING
Does your law allow for "brand name" labeling?
Answer = NO, Montana does not regulate brand name labeling of ag seeds in its current law. We are checking labels through routine inspections and monitoring if this needs to be addressed through legislation.

PERMIT / LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Does your state law have a permit /license requirement for seedsmen to distribute seeds in your state?
Answer = YES, License types are: Seed dealer, labeler, conditioner and Montana Seed Grower. The Montana Seed Grower covers private growers (farmer to farmer or "brown bag sales") selling more than $5,000 of their own production, and all seed sales must be accompanied by a label containing the required information Additionally we license Out of State Dealers and Labelers. Fees for Dealers, Labelers, Conditioners and MT Seed Growers are $55 per license. Out of State Seed Dealer - $ 110; Out of State Seed Labeler - $55. All licenses are issued on a FISCAL year basis and expire on June 30 of each year.

TEST DATE
What is the "TEST DATE" requirement for agricultural and vegetable seeds in your state?
Answer = 12 Months. The twelve month limit does not apply to seed in hermetically sealed containers. Hermetically sealed container germination tests are good for a period of 18 months for seed sold on a wholesale basis and 36 months for seed sold on a retail basis.

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

Does your state test for specific GMO varietal traits on official samples?
Answer =NO

RELATIONSHIP TO RUSSL
Does your state seed law model RUSSL?
Answer = YES

UNIQUE (MISCELLANEOUS) REQUIREMENTS
Does your state seed law have any "unique" or special requirements and/or prohibitions?
Answer = Unknown.