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Texas Contacts:

  • Jeff Claxton, Coordinator, Seed Quality
    Texas Department of Agriculture
    P.O. Box 629
    Giddings, TX  78942
    T: 979-542-3691
    E: jeffery.claxton@texasagriculture.gov

  • Todd Staples, Commissioner
    Texas Department of Agriculture
    P.O. Box 12847
    Austin, TX  78711
    T :512-463-4578
    F: 512-463-1104

Labeling & Distribution Information Survey:

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

VARIETY LABELING
Does your state seed law require "mandatory" variety labeling for agricultural crop kinds?
Answer = NO

Does your law allow for "variety not stated" labeling?
Answer = YES

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

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

Does your state seed law allow labeling by "crop kind" only?
Answer = NO, The following kinds must be labeled by variety or show "variety not stated": alfalfa, bahiagrass, barley, field bean, field beet, pop corn, cotton, cowpea, crambe, tall fescue, flax, striate lespedeza, foxtail millet, pearl millet, oat, fieldpea, peanut, rice rye, safflower, sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, soybean, sudangrass, sunflower, tobacco, birdsfoot trefoil, triticale, and wheat.

ARBITRATION
Does your state offer "Seed Arbitration" as a part of your seed law, or as a separate law?
Answer = YES, but as a separate law.

If yes, is it mandatory?
Answer = NO

Do you allow the use of the "arbitration label notice" as referenced in RUSSL?
Answer = YES

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 = YES

PERMIT/LICENSING REQUIREMENTS
Does your state law have a permit/license requirement for seedsmen to distribute seeds in your state? If yes, please briefly describe your system and fees.
Answer = YES. A seedsmen/labeler must pay a tonnage fee of $0.18 per 100 pounds of seed sold. This fee can be paid by purchasing analysis labels from the Texas Department of Agriculture or by having a Texas Quarterly Reporting System Permit No., which requires a report and payment (payment only if seed was sold) be received every quarter, regardless of the amount of seed sold. To sell vegetable seed, a labeler must purchase a $300 vegetable seed license every year. No permits/license required to sell seed as a retailer.

TEST DATE
What are your germination test date requirements for agricultural seeds?
Answer = 9 months

What are your germination test date requirements for vegetable seeds?
Answer = 12 months for packets weighing less than one pound, otherwise 9 months

What are your germination test date requirements for lawn & turf seeds?
Answer = 9 months

SELL BY/PACKED FOR
Does your state law include requirements for "Sell By"/"Packed For" labeling vegetables, flowers and turf grass? If yes, please briefly explain.
Answer = YES, Vegetable packets less than a pound may be sold by sell by/packed for dates. Sell by date is no longer than 12 months. Packed for year will cover a period of time beginning August 1 of the current year through September 30 of the following year.

OTHER SEED KINDS REGULATED
Does your state regulate flower seeds?
Answer = NO

Does your state regulate Native/Conservation/reclamation species?
Answer = YES

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, Most of what we have in the Texas Seed Law models RUSSL, but there are a number of items that are in RUSSL that are not in the Texas Seed Law.