19 Oct KARA Publicly Comments on KDA’s Proposed Seed Regulations
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) participated in a public comment session on Kansas Dept. of Agriculture’s (KDA) proposed amendments to seed regulations.
KDA’s proposed amendments to its regulations under the Kansas seed law, K.S.A. 2-1415, et seq. include changes to: Labeling prohibitions; definitions of noxious weed seed; official analysis; restricted weed seed; prohibited weed seed and seed offered for sale.
KARA’s senior vice president of government affairs and general counsel Randy Stookey represented the association by testifying to KARA’s position on restricted weed seed and seed offered for sale. KARA’s full comment submitted to KDA is available via the button below.
K.A.R. 4-2-9a. Restricted Weed Seed
This regulation sets forth a list of weed seeds to be designated as “restricted weed seeds” in Kansas and sets forth threshold numbers of seeds per pound that may be present in seed that is exposed for sale.
The list of restricted weed seeds was removed from statute with the intention of placing them in regulation. K.S.A. 2-1415(l) requires the secretary to consult with the ag industry prior to adding any additional weed seeds to this list of restricted weed seeds.
The regulation proposes to list Caucasian bluestem and Yellow bluestem as restricted weed seeds in the state with a threshold limit of 2 seeds per pound. KARA understands that there are varying points of view on the existence of these plants in Kansas and that certain industry stakeholders are working toward removing them from the state. KARA understands KDA’s listing of these plant seeds as restricted weed seeds is intended to support that objective.
K.A.R. 4-2-14. Seed Offered for Sale
The existing regulation defines when an agricultural seed is deemed “offered for sale.” The proposal requires packages of seed that are not intended to be offered for sale to be (1) “permanently” labeled to indicate it is not for sale, and (2) stored separately from seed that is intended to be offered for sale.
Under the proposed language, any “agricultural seed … in salesrooms, storerooms, warehouses, or other places where seed is sold for sowing purposes” will be considered as being “offered or exposed for sale for planting purposes” unless it is “permanently labeled” as “not for sale”.
Because the language does not distinguish between seed exposed for sale at retail, and seed exposed for sale at wholesale, the regulation could easily be interpreted as applying to either, or both.
This becomes problematic if applied to seed stored at the processor/wholesaler level, as seed at this stage can, and often is, further processed to ensure compliance with seed regulations before being offered for sale at retail to the end consumer.
For example, if a wholesaler is waiting for test results on a seed sample to be returned – or is intending to further process a container of seed this is not in compliance – they should not be required to permanently deface the label for that seed.
For this reason, KARA would ask that the language in this regulation be amended to either (1) remove the permanent marking requirement altogether, or (2) clearly state that the requirement to, at times, permanently mark seed containers as “not for sale” is limited to seed exposed for sale at retail.