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03/31/2017

State Agriculture Secretary Reminds Growers to Purchase Crop Seeds from a State-Licensed Dealer

'Brown Bag' seed sales are illegal and considered suspect

Harrisburg, PA - As Pennsylvania grain and seed producers prepare for the 2017 growing season, the state’s agriculture secretary urges consumers to purchase seed that has been tested and properly labeled to help ensure the quality of their crop.

“Purchasing seed that is tested for germination and purity is important because it helps to ensure that consumers have access to high quality seed that can be trusted to perform as labeled and as expected,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding.

Seed that is not tested and labeled, sometimes packaged in an unlabeled “brown bag,” is being sold illegally and its quality should be considered suspect. Producers risk planting a product that may not germinate well or may produce an inferior crop. Producers also must be careful to avoid planting unwanted weed seeds.

“Pennsylvania law requires that seed labels contain the complete name and address of the seller or labeler, a seed germination and purity guarantee, and a treatment statement if the seeds have been treated with a pesticide or an inoculant,” Redding added. The label must be written in legible English and easily visible on the outside of the container.

Redding urges consumers to purchase seed from a licensed seed dealer. Anyone offering seed for sale, whether for cover-crop or crop production, is required by law to be licensed in Pennsylvania.

For more information or to learn whether a seed dealer is licensed in Pennsylvania, call 717-787-4894.

For information on the Seed Act and its regulations, visit www.agriculture.pa.gov and search “seed,” or call 717-787-4894.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie J. McCann - 717-783-0133 direct or 717-603-2200 mobile

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