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Seed Regulatory Program

Oregon Seed Law and the Federal Seed Act require information about the type and quality of seed to be included on every label. The required information depends on the kind of seed and its intended use. All information must be based on seed tests including a purity exam, noxious seed exam, and germination testing conducted according to Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) Rules for Testing Seeds.

What information is required on the label?

A seed label must contain very specific information to convey the type and quality of the seed. The required label information is based on the kind of seed. In general, seed is labeled with the following information:

  • Kind and variety
  • Lot number
  • Purity, other crop, weed seed, and inert matter percentages
  • Noxious weed seeds by name and number per pound
  • Germination, dormant, hard seed, and total viable percentages
  • Test or packed for/sell by dates
  • Origin
  • Name and address of labeler

Labeling seed - variety vs. brand names

Seed variety is a subdivision of kind that is distinct, uniform and stable, and is characterized by growth, yield, plant, maturity, seed, disease resistance, or other characteristics by which it can be differentiated by other varieties of public knowledge. Variety names are assigned by the originator or are the name used when the variety first entered US commerce.  In general, they are unique to a seed kind and remain exclusive to that variety forever, although there are a few exceptions. 

Variety names cannot be used as brand names, and vice versa.  When used in labeling and advertising, a brand name cannot be used in a way that could covey the impression that it is a variety name.

Guidance is available through the USDA for choosing variety names that comply with the Federal Seed Act:

What are the Oregon seed labeling requirements?

What are the Federal Seed Act labeling requirements?