The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today an administrative variance to germination testing requirements for entities selling seed to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as part of its biannual seed purchases (bids). Effective August 8, 2022, this action allows seed to be shipped to BLM without germination test results if the germination testing process has been started prior to interstate shipment.
The germination and testing requirement may be found in section 201.30(a) of the Federal Seed Act regulations. Agricultural seed covered under section 201.2(h) of the Federal Seed Act regulations must have a germination test conducted prior to interstate shipping. Germination tests can take up to several months to complete. Discussions with BLM officials indicated that this requirement is often not feasible for the emergency needs of BLM due to time constraints surrounding acquiring and testing the seed for reclamation projects. Delaying the provision of germination test results allows BLM to carry out its mission and support efficient seed trade.
Please note that germination tests must be started prior to interstate shipment, and results of the germination test must be supplied to BLM immediately upon test completion. Additionally, records showing the test was started prior to seed shipment must be supplied when requested by State or Federal seed control officials.
Please contact Ernest Allen at Ernest.Allen@USDA.gov or (704) 810-8884 for additional information and questions.
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