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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXV
AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, AND ANIMAL INDUSTRY
Chapter 578
SEED
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F.S. 578.09
578.09 Label requirements for agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree, or shrub seeds.Each container of agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree, or shrub seed which is sold, offered for sale, exposed for sale, or distributed for sale within this state for sowing purposes must bear thereon or have attached thereto, in a conspicuous place a plainly written or printed label or tag in the English language. All data pertaining to analysis must appear on a single label. Language setting forth the requirements for filing and serving complaints as described in s. 578.26(1)(c) must be included on the analysis label or be otherwise attached to the package, except for packages containing less than 1,000 seeds by count.
(1) For all treated agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree, or shrub seed as defined in this chapter:
(a) A word or statement indicating that the seed has been treated.
(b) The commonly accepted coined, chemical, or abbreviated chemical (generic) name of the applied substance or description of the process used.
(c) If the substance in the amount present with the seed is harmful to humans or other vertebrate animals, a caution statement such as “Do not use for food, feed, or oil purposes.” The caution for mercurials, Environmental Protection Agency Toxicity Category 1 as referenced in 7 C.F.R. s. 201.31a(c)(2), and similarly toxic substances shall be designated by a poison statement or symbol.
(d) If the seed is treated with an inoculant, the date beyond which the inoculant is not to be considered effective (date of expiration).

A label separate from other labels required by this section or other law may be used to identify seed treatments as required by this subsection.

(2) For agricultural seed, including lawn and turf grass seed and mixtures thereof:
(a) The name of the kind and variety of each component present in excess of 5 percent 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 “mixed,” “mixture,” or “blend” must be shown conspicuously on the label. Hybrids must be labeled as hybrids.
(b) Lot number or other lot identification.
(c) Net weight or seed count.
(d) Origin, if known. If the origin is unknown, that fact must be stated.
(e) Percentage by weight of all weed seed.
(f) Name and number of noxious weed seed per pound, if present.
(g) Percentage by weight of agricultural seed which may be designated as other crop seed, other than those required to be named on the label.
(h) Percentage by weight of inert matter.
(i) For each named agricultural seed, including lawn and turf grass seed:
1. Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard or dormant seed;
2. Percentage of hard or dormant seed, if present; and
3. The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages, provided that the germination test must have been completed within the previous 9 months, exclusive of the calendar month of test.
(j) Name and address of the person who labeled said seed or who sells, distributes, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.

The sum total of the percentages listed pursuant to paragraphs (a), (e), (g), and (h) must be equal to 100 percent.

(3) For seed that is coated:
(a) Percentage by weight of pure seed with coating material removed. The percentage of coating material may be included with the inert matter percentage or may be listed separately.
(b) Percentage of germination. This percentage must be determined based on an examination of 400 coated units with or without seed.

In addition to the requirements of this subsection, labeling of coated seed must also comply with the requirements of any other subsection pertaining to that type of seed.

(4) For combination mulch, seed, and fertilizer products:
(a) The word “combination” followed, as appropriate, by the words “mulch – seed – fertilizer” must appear prominently on the principal display panel of the package.
(b) If the product is an agricultural seed placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device or is mixed with mulch or fertilizer, it must also be labeled with all of the following:
1. Product name.
2. Lot number or other lot identification.
3. Percentage by weight of pure seed of each kind and variety named which may be less than 5 percent of the whole.
4. Percentage by weight of other crop seed.
5. Percentage by weight of inert matter.
6. Percentage by weight of weed seed.
7. Name and number of noxious weed seeds per pound, if present.
8. Percentage of germination, and hard or dormant seed if appropriate, of each kind or kind and variety named. The germination test must have been completed within the previous 12 months exclusive of the calendar month of test.
9. The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages.
10. Name and address of the person who labeled the seed, or who sells, offers, or exposes the seed for sale within the state.

The sum total of the percentages listed pursuant to subparagraphs 3., 4., 5., and 6. must be equal to 100 percent.

(5) For vegetable seed in packets as prepared for use in home gardens or household plantings or vegetable seeds in preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:
(a) Name of kind and variety of seed. Hybrids must be labeled as hybrids.
(b) Lot number or other lot identification.
(c) Germination test date identified in the following manner:
1. The calendar month and year the germination test was completed and the statement “Sell by   (month/year)  ”, which may be no more than 12 months from the date of test, beginning with the month after the test date;
2. The month and year the germination test was completed, provided that the germination test must have been completed within the previous 12 months, exclusive of the calendar month of test; or
3. The year for which the seed was packaged for sale as “Packed for   (year)  ” and the statement “Sell by   (year)  ” which shall be 1 year after the seed was packaged for sale.
(d) Name and address of the person who labeled the seed or who sells, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.
(e) For seed which germinate less than standard last established by the department:
1. Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard or dormant seed.
2. Percentage of hard or dormant seed, if present.
3. The words “Below Standard” prominently displayed.
(f) No seed marked “Below Standard” may be sold that falls more than 20 percent below the established standard for such seed. For seeds that do not have an established standard, the minimum germination standard shall be 50 percent, and no such seed may be sold that is 20 percent below this standard.
(g) For seed placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device in such a way as to make it difficult to determine the quantity of seed without removing the seeds from the medium, mat, tape or device, a statement to indicate the minimum number of seeds in the container.
(6) For vegetable seed in containers, other than packets prepared for use in home gardens or household plantings, and other than preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:
(a) The name of each kind and variety present of any seed in excess of 5 percent of the total weight in the container, and the percentage by weight of each type of seed in order of its predominance. Hybrids must be labeled as hybrids.
(b) Net weight or seed count.
(c) Lot number or other lot identification.
(d) For each named vegetable seed:
1. Percentage germination, exclusive of hard or dormant seed;
2. Percentage of hard or dormant seed, if present;
3. Listed below the requirements of subparagraphs 1. and 2., the “total germination and hard or dormant seed” may be stated as such, if desired; and
4. The calendar month and year the test was completed to determine the percentages specified in subparagraphs 1. and 2., provided that the germination test must have been completed within 9 months, exclusive of the calendar month of test.
(e) Name and address of the person who labeled the seed, or who sells, offers, or exposes the seed for sale within this state.
(f) For seed which germinate less than the standard last established by the department, the words “Below Standard” prominently displayed.
1. No seed marked “Below Standard” may be sold if the seed is more than 20 percent below the established standard for such seed.
2. For seeds that do not have an established standard, the minimum germination standard shall be 50 percent, and no such seed may be sold that is 20 percent below this standard.
(7) For flower seed in packets prepared for use in home gardens or household plantings or flower seed in preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices:
(a) For all kinds of flower seed:
1. The name of the kind and variety or a statement of type and performance characteristics as prescribed in the rules and regulations adopted under the provisions of this chapter.
2. Germination test date, identified in the following manner:
a. The calendar month and year the germination test was completed and the statement “Sell by   (month/year)  ”. The sell by date must be no more than 12 months from the date of test, beginning with the month after the test date;
b. The year for which the seed was packed for sale as “Packed for   (year)  ” and the statement “Sell by   (year)  ” which shall be for a calendar year; or
c. The calendar month and year the test was completed, provided that the germination test must have been completed within the previous 12 months, exclusive of the calendar month of test.
3. The name and address of the person who labeled said seed, or who sells, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.
(b) For seed of those kinds for which standard testing procedures are prescribed and which germinate less than the germination standard last established under the provisions of this chapter:
1. The percentage of germination exclusive of hard or dormant seed.
2. Percentage of hard or dormant seed, if present.
3. The words “Below Standard” prominently displayed.
(c) For seed placed in a germination medium, mat, tape, or other device in such a way as to make it difficult to determine the quantity of seed without removing the seed from the medium, mat, tape, or device, a statement to indicate the minimum number of seed in the container.
(8) For flower seed in containers other than packets and other than preplanted containers, mats, tapes, or other planting devices and not prepared for use in home flower gardens or household plantings:
(a) The name of the kind and variety, and for wildflowers, the genus and species and subspecies, if appropriate.
(b) Net weight or seed count.
(c) Lot number or other lot identification.
(d) For flower seed with a pure seed percentage of less than 90 percent:
1. Percentage, by weight, of each component listed in order of its predominance.
2. Percentage by weight of weed seed, if present.
3. Percentage by weight of other crop seed.
4. Percentage by weight of inert matter.
(e) For those kinds of seed for which standard testing procedures are prescribed:
1. Percentage germination exclusive of hard or dormant seed.
2. Percentage of hard or dormant seed, if present.
3. The calendar month and year that the test was completed. The germination test must have been completed within the previous 9 months, exclusive of the calendar month of test.
(f) For those kinds of seed for which standard testing procedures are not available, the year of production or collection.
(g) The name and address of the person who labeled said seed or who sells, offers, or exposes said seed for sale within this state.
(h) For seed which germinate less than the standard last established by the department, the words “Below Standard” prominently displayed.
(9) For tree or shrub seed:
(a) Common name of the species of seed and, if appropriate, subspecies.
(b) The scientific name of the genus, species, and, if appropriate, subspecies.
(c) Lot number or other lot identification.
(d) Net weight or seed count.
(e) Origin, indicated in the following manner:
1. For seed collected from a predominantly indigenous stand, the area of collection given by latitude and longitude or geographic description, or political subdivision, such as state or county.
2. For seed collected from other than a predominantly indigenous stand, the area of collection and the origin of the stand or the statement “Origin not Indigenous.”
3. The elevation or the upper and lower limits of elevations within which the seed was collected.
(f) Purity as a percentage of pure seed by weight.
(g) For those species for which standard germination testing procedures are prescribed by the department:
1. Percentage germination exclusive of hard or dormant seed.
2. Percentage of hard or dormant seed, if present.
3. The calendar month and year test was completed, provided that the germination test must have been completed within the previous 12 months, exclusive of the calendar month of test.
(h) In lieu of subparagraphs (g)1., 2., and 3., the seed may be labeled “Test is in progress; results will be supplied upon request.”
(i) For those species for which standard germination testing procedures have not been prescribed by the department, the calendar year in which the seed was collected.
(j) The name and address of the person who labeled the seed or who sells, offers, or exposes the seed for sale within this state.

The information required by this section to be placed on labels attached to seed containers may not be modified or denied in the labeling or on another label attached to the container. However, labeling of seed supplied under a contractual agreement may be by invoice accompanying the shipment or by an analysis tag attached to the invoice if each bag or other container is clearly identified by a lot number displayed on the bag or other container. Each bag or container that is not so identified must carry complete labeling.

History.s. 5, ch. 19364, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(594); s. 3, ch. 20251, 1941; ss. 3, 13, ch. 21942, 1943; ss. 3, 12, ch. 22694, 1945; ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, ch. 26926, 1951; s. 3, ch. 57-199; s. 3, ch. 61-436; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 69-144; s. 1, ch. 88-75; s. 6, ch. 93-29; s. 42, ch. 2018-84.