Revisions to the Federal Seed Act Regulations

Docket Number: AMS-ST-19-0039
Effective Date: October 15, 2020


This final rule revises the regulations that implement the Federal Seed Act (FSA). Revisions are made to seed labeling, testing, and certification requirements. The revisions add certain seed species to the lists of covered kinds of seed and update the lists to reflect current scientific nomenclature; update regulations related to seed quality, germination and purity standards, and acceptable seed testing methods; and update seed certification and recertification requirements, including new eligibility standards and the recognition of current breeding techniques. This rule aligns FSA regulations with current industry practices, harmonizes FSA testing methods with industry standards, and clarifies confusing or contradictory language in the existing regulations. The revisions are expected to reduce trade burden associated with interstate seed commerce and encourage compliance with State and Federal laws.

On July 7, 2020, the Agricultural Marketing Service amended regulations under the Federal Seed Act. The document incorrectly revised the entries for “Oat” and “Brussels Sprouts” in the table that specifies directions for germination and hard seed testing. This document corrects those entries.


Ernest Allen, Director, Seed Regulatory and Testing Division, Science and Technology Program, AMS, USDA; 801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C, Gastonia, NC 28054, USA; telephone: 704-810-8884; email

Supporting Documents