STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE
SALE OF AGRICULTURAL SEEDS
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 21 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE 1935 RELATING TO THE STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE IN REFERENCE TO THE SALE OF AGRICULTURAL SEEDS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
This Act shall be cited as the "Delaware Seed Law".
Section 1. That Chapter 21 of the Revised Code of Delaware 1935 be and the same is hereby amended by striking out Chapter 21 and repealing all of 655 Section 88 and 665 Section 98 and all intervening Sections of Article 9 of the said Chapter and inserting in lieu thereof the following new sections.
Section 2. When used in this Act--
(a) The term "person" shall include a partnership, corporation, company, society, or association,
(b) The term "agricultural seeds" shall include the seeds of grass, forage, cereal and fibre crops and any other kinds of seeds commonly recognized within this State as agricultural or field seeds, and mixtures of such seeds.
(a) The term "vegetable seeds" shall include the seeds of those crops which are grown in gardens or on truck farms and are generally known and sold under the name of vegetable seeds in this state.
(a) The term "Weed seeds" shall include the seeds of all plants generally recognized as Weeds within this state, and shall include noxious weed seeds.
(e) Noxious weed seeds shall be divided into two classes, "primary noxious weed seeds" and "secondary noxious weed seeds" which are defined in (1) and (2) of this subsection : Provided, that the State Board of Agriculture may add to or subtract from the list of seeds included under either definition whenever it finds, after public hearing, that such additions or subtractions are within the respective definitions.
(1) "Primary noxious weed seeds" are the seeds of perennial weeds such as not only reproduce by seed but also spread by underground roots or stems, and which, when established, are highly destructive and difficult to control in this state by ordinary good cultural practice.
"Primary noxious weed seeds" in this state are the seeds of Canada thistle (Circium arvense), quackgrass (Agropyron repens).
(2) "Secondary noxious weed seeds" are the seeds of such weeds as are very objectionable in fields, lawns, or gardens of this state, but can be controlled by good cultural practice.
"Secondary noxious weed seeds" in this state are the seeds of dodder (Cuscuta spp), wild mustard (Brassica spp), wild onion (Allium spp), buckhorn (Plantago lanceolata), corn-cockle (Agrostemma githago).
(f) The term "Labeling" includes all labels, and other written, printed, or graphic representations, in any form whatsoever, accompanying and pertaining to any seed whether in bulk or in containers, and includes invoices.
(f) The term "advertisement" means all representations, other than those on the label, disseminated in any manner or by any means, relating to seed within the scope of this act.
LABEL REQUIREMENTS :
Section 3. Each container of agricultural or vegetable seed which is sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale, within this state for sowing purposes shall bear thereon or have attached
thereto in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label or tag in the English language, giving the following information :
(a) For agricultural seeds--
(1) The name of (a) kind, or (b) kind and variety, or (c) kind and type, of each agricultural seed component in excess of five per cent (5%) of the whole, and the percentage by weight of each in the order of its predominance. Where more than one component is required to be named, the word "mixture" or the word "mixed" shall be shown conspicuously on the label.
(2) Lot number or other lot identification.
(3) Origin, if known, of alfalfa, red clover, and field corn (except hybrid corn). If origin is unknown, that fact shall be stated.
(4) Percentage by weight of all weed seeds.
(5) The name and approximate number of each kind of secondary noxious weed seed, per ounce in groups (A) and (B) and per pound in groups (c) and (D), when present singly or collectively in excess of--
(A) One seed or bulblet in each five grams of Agrostis spp., Poa spp., Rhodes grass, Bermuda grass, timothy, orchard grass, fescues, (except Meadow fescue), alsike and white clover, reed canary grass, Dallis grass, and other agricultural seeds of similar size and weight, or mixtures within this group ;
(B) One seed or bulblet in each ten grams of ryegrass, Meadow fescue, foxtail, millet, alfalfa, red clover, sweet clovers, lespedezas, smooth brome, crimson clover, Brassica spp., flax, Agropyron spp. and other agricultural seeds of similar size and weight, or mixtures within this group, or of this group with (A) ;
(c) One seed or bulblet in each twenty-five grams of proso, Sudan grass and other agricultural seeds of similar size and weight or mixtures not specified in (A), (B), or (D) ;
(D) One seed or bulblet in each one hundred grams of wheat, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, sorghums (except Sudan grass), vetches and other agricultural seeds of a size and weight similar to or greater than those within this group.
All determinations of noxious weed seeds are subject to tolerances as set forth in the rules and regulations of the Federal Seed Act.
(6) Percentage by weight of inert matter.
(7) Percentage by weight of agricultural seeds other than those required to be named on the label.
(8) For each agricultural seed (a) percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed, (b) percentage of hard seed, if present, and (c) the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages. Following (a) and (b) the additional statement "total germination and hard seed" may be stated as such, if desired.
(9) Name and address of the person who labelled said seed, or who sells, offers or exposes said seed for sale within this state.
(b) For vegetable seeds--
(1) Name of kind and variety of seed ;
(2) For seeds which germinate less than the standard last established by the State Board of Agriculture under this act.
(A) Percentage of germination exclusive of hard seed.
(B) Percentage of hard seed, if present.
(C) The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages;
(A) The words "Below standard" in not less than eight point type, and
(3) Name and address of the person who labeled said seed, or who sells, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.
Section 4. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, or expose for sale, any agricultural or vegetable seed within this state--
(1) Unless the test to determine the percentage of germination required by Section 3, shall have been completed within a nine month period exclusive of the calendar month in which the test was completed, immediately prior to sale, exposure for sale or offering for sale or transportation.
(2) Not labeled in accordance with the provisions of this act, or having a false or misleading statement.
(3) Pertaining to which there has been a false or misleading statement.
(4) Any agricultural seed containing any primary noxious weed seeds either singly or in the aggregate in greater number than 1 in 100 grams.
(5) Containing over 3.0 per cent of weed seed.
(6) Any agricultural seed containing more than 500 dodder seed per pound, unless labeled with a red tag carrying the statement Low Grade Seed.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person within this state--
(1) To detach, alter, deface, or destroy any label provided for in this act or the rules and regulations made and promulgated thereunder, or to alter or substitute seed, in a manner that may defeat the purpose of this act.
(2) To disseminate any false or misleading advertisement concerning agricultural or vegetable seed in any manner or by any means.
To hinder or obstruct in any way any authorized per-on in the performance of his duties under this act.
(3) To fail to comply with a "Stop Sale" order.
Section 5. (a) The provisions of Section 3 and 4 do not apply--
(1) To seed or grain not intended for sowing purposes: Provided, that this fact is so stated on attached labels of the containers, when such seed is sold at public auction.
(2) To seed in storage in, or consigned to, a seed cleaning or processing establishment for cleaning or processing: Provided, that any labeling or other representation which may be made with respect to the unclean seed shall be subject to this act.
(3) To a farmer when seeds are grown, sold and delivered on his own premises to the purchaser himself. If, however, the seed is advertised for sale through the local papers, then the seed shall be subject to the requirements of this act.
(b) No person shall be subject to penalties of this act for having sold, offered or exposed for sale in this state any agricultural or vegetable seeds, which were incorrectly labeled or represented as to kind, variety, type, or origin which seeds cannot be identified by examination thereof, unless he has failed to obtain an invoice or grower's declaration giving kind, or kind and variety, or kind and type, and origin, if required, and take such other precautions as may be necessary to insure the identity to be that stated.
Section 6. Seed consigned, delivered and offered for sale at community sales, auctions and bazaars are subject to all the requirements of this act.
DUTIES AND AUTHORITY OF THE STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE
Section 7. (a) The duty of enforcing this act and carrying out its provisions and requirements shall be vested in the State Board of Agriculture. It shall be the duty of the State Board of Agriculture who may act through their authorized agents :
(1) To sample, inspect, make analysis of, and test agricultural and vegetable seeds transported, sold, offered or exposed for sale within this state for sowing purposes at such time or place and to such extent as it may deerh necessary to determine whether said agricultural or vegetable seeds are in compliance with the provisions of this act, and to notify promptly the person who transported, sold, offered or exposed the seed for sale, of any violation.
(2) To prescribe and adopt rules and regulations governing the methods of sampling, inspecting, analysis, tests and examinations of agricultural and vegetable seed, and the tolerances to be followed in the administration of this act, which shall be in general accord with officially prescribed practice in interstate commerce, and such other rules and regulations as may be necessary to secure the efficient enforcement of this act.
(b) Further, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act, the State Board of Agriculture through its authorized agents, is authorized--
(1) To enter upon any public or private premises during regular business hours in order to have access to seeds subject to the act and the rules and regulations thereunder.
(2) To issue and enforce a written or printed "stop sale" order to the owner or custodian of any lot of agricultural or vegetable seed, which the State Board of Agriculture or its agents finds is in violation of any of the provisions of this act which shall prohibit further sale of such seed until the State Board of Agriculture has evidence that the law has been complied with:
Provided, that no "stop sale" order shall be issued or attached to any lot of seed without first giving the owner or custodian of such seed an opportunity to comply with the law or to withdraw the seed from sale ; Provided, further, that in respect to seeds which have been denied sale as provided in this paragraph, the owner or custodian of such seeds shall have the right to appeal from such order to a court of competent jurisdiction where the seeds are found, praying for a judgment as to the justification of said order and for the discharge of such seed from the order prohibiting the sale in accordance with the findings of the court : And provided further, that the provisions of this paragraph shall not be construed as limiting the right of the State Board of Agriculture or its agents to proceed as authorized by other sections of this act.
(3) To maintain a seed laboratory with proper equipment and qualified persons ; to analyze for purity and test for germination seeds for farmers and dealers on request ; the methods of testing, and tolerances for purity and germination shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations prescribed under the Federal Seed Act.
(4) To fix and collect fees for the tests made, if such fees are found to be necessary. All moneys received from receipt of such fees to be paid into the Treasury of the State.
(5) To cooperate with the United States Department of Agriculture in Seed law enforcement.
Section 8. Any lot of agriculture or vegetable seed not in compliance with the provisions of this act shall be subject to seizure on complaint of the State Board of Agriculture or its agents to a court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the seed is located. In the event that the court finds the seed to be in such violation of the act and orders the condemnation of said seed, it shall be denatured, processed, destroyed, relabeled, or otherwise disposed of in compliance with the laws
of this state; Provided, that in no instance shall such disposition of said seed be ordered by the court without first having given the claimant an opportunity to apply to the court for the release of said seed or permission to process or relabel it to bring it into compliance with the act.
VIOLATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS
Section 9. Every violation of the provisions of this act shall be deemed a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars for the first offense and not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars for each subsequent similar offense.
When the State Board of Agriculture shall find that any person has violated any of the provisions of this act, they may institute proceedings in the court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the violation occurred, to have such person convicted therefor ; or the State Board of Agriculture may file with the Attorney General with the view of prosecution such evidence as may be deemed necessary ; Provided, however, that no prosecution under this act shall be instituted without first having given the defendant an opportunity to appear before the State Board of Agriculture to introduce evidence either in person or by agent or attorney at a private hearing. If after such hearing, or without such hearing, in case the defendant or his agent or attorney fails or refuses to appear, the State Board of Agriculture is of the opinion the evidence warrants prosecution, he shall proceed as herein provided.
It shall be the duty of Deputy Attorney General or the Attorney General, as the case may be, to institute proceedings at once against the person charged with such violations, if in his judgment, the information submitted warrants such action.
After judgment by the court in any case arising under this act, the State Board of Agriculture shall publish any information pertinent to the issuance of the judgment by the court in such media as they may designate from time to time.
Approved April 2, 1943.