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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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CHAPTER 19. AGRICULTURE.

ARTICLE 16. WEST VIRGINIA SEED LAW.

§19-16-1. Definitions.

(a) "Agricultural seed" includes forage seeds (grasses and legumes), tobacco, soybeans, cereal, oil, fiber, and other kinds of crop seeds commonly recognized within this state as agricultural seeds, lawn and turf seeds and combinations of those seeds, and may include noxious weed seeds when the commissioner determines that the seed is being used as agricultural seed.

(b) "Blend" means seed consisting of more than one variety of a kind, each in excess of five percent by weight of the whole.

(c) "Brand" means a word, name, symbol, number, design or device, or any combination thereof, identifying the seed of one person and distinguishing it from all others.

(d) "Bulk" means seed when loose in vehicles of transportation or in storage, or in retail displays and not in seed bags or other containers.

(e) "Certifying agency" means: (1) An agency authorized under the laws of a state, territory or possession to officially certify seed and which has standards and procedures approved by the United States Secretary of Agriculture to assure the genetic purity and identity of the seed certified; or (2) an agency of a foreign country determined by the United States Secretary of Agriculture to adhere to procedures and standards for seed certification comparable to those adhered to generally by seed certifying agencies under subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(f) "Coated" means a seed unit covered with any substance which changes the size, shape or weight of original seed. Seeds coated with ingredients, such as, but not limited to, rhizobia, dyes and pesticides, are not considered coated seeds.

(g) "Commissioner" refers to the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of West Virginia or a duly authorized employee.

(h) "Complete record" means any and all information which relates to the origin, treatment, germination, purity, kind and variety of each lot of agricultural seed sold in this state, or which relates to the treatment, germination, kind and variety of each lot of vegetable, or tree and shrub seed sold in this state. The information shall include seed samples and records of declarations, labels, purchases, sales, conditioning, bulking, treatment, handling, storage, analyses, tests and examinations.

(i) "Conditioning" means drying, cleaning, scarifying and other operations which may change the purity or germination of the seed and require the seed lot to be retested to determine the label information.

(j) "Dealer" means any person who exclusively sells, exposes for sale, offers for sale, exchanges or barters seed for sowing purposes within this State to the ultimate consumer.

(k) "Distribute" means to offer for sale, sell, expose for sale, exchange or barter seed for sowing purposes within the State.

(l) "Distributor" means any person who sells, exposes for sale, offers for sale, exchanges, barters, gives, parcels out, allots, shares or dispenses a seed for sowing purposes within the State.

(m) "Dormant" means viable seed, excluding hard seed, which fail to germinate when provided the specified germination conditions for the kind of seed in question.

(n) "Genuine growers declaration" means a statement signed by the grower which gives for each lot of seed the lot number, kind, variety (if known), origin, weight, year of production, date of shipment and to whom the shipment was made.

(o) "Germination" means the emergence and development from the seed embryo of those essential structures which, for the kind of seed in question, are indicative of the ability to produce a normal plant under favorable conditions.

(p) "Hard seeds" means seeds which remain hard at the end of the prescribed test period because they have not absorbed water due to an impermeable seed coat.

(q) "Hybrid" means the first generation seed of a cross produced by controlling the pollination and by combining: (1) Two or more inbred lines; (2) one inbred or a single cross with an open pollinated variety; or (3) two varieties or species, except open-pollinated varieties of corn (Zea mays). The second generation of subsequent generations from the crosses shall not be regarded as hybrids. Hybrid designations shall be treated as variety names.

(r) "Inert matter" means all matter not seed, which includes, but is not limited to, broken seeds, sterile florets, chaff, fungus bodies and stones as determined by methods defined by rule.

(s) "Kind" means one or more related species or subspecies which singly or collectively is known by one common name, for example, corn, oats, alfalfa and timothy.

(t) "Label" means a display of written, printed or graphic matter affixed to the container or package in which seed is distributed; or affixed to the invoice, delivery slip or other shipping document which accompanies bulk lots of seed. All labels shall be legible and in English.

(u) "Labeling" means all written, printed, or graphic matter or advertisement referencing the seed.

(v) "Lot" means a definite quantity of seed identified by a lot number, code number or other mark, every portion or bag of which is uniform within recognized tolerances for the factors which appear on the label.

(w) "Mixture", "mix", or "mixed" means seed consisting of more than one kind, each in excess of five percent by weight of the whole.

(x) "Mulch" means a protective covering of any suitable substance placed with seed which acts to retain sufficient moisture to support seed germination and sustain early seedling growth and aid in the prevention of the evaporation of soil moisture, the control of weeds and the prevention of erosion.

(y) Noxious weed seeds are divided into two classes: "Prohibited noxious weed seeds" and "restricted noxious weed seeds" as defined in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection:

     (1) The term "prohibited noxious weed seeds" are those weed seeds which are prohibited from being present in agricultural, vegetable, tree or shrub seed. They are the seeds of weeds which are highly destructive and difficult to control by good cultural practices and the use of herbicides;

     (2) The term "restricted noxious weed seeds or undesirable grass seed" are those weed seeds which are objectionable in agricultural crops, lawns and gardens of this State and which can be controlled by good cultural practices or the use of herbicides.

(z) "Off type" means any seed or plant not a part of the variety in that it deviates in one or more characteristics from the variety as described and may include: A seed or plant of another variety; a seed or plant not necessarily any variety; a seed or plant resulting from cross-pollination by another kind or variety; a seed or plant resulting from uncontrolled self pollination during production of hybrid seed; or segregates from any of the off types set forth in this subsection.

(aa) "Official sample" means any sample of seed taken by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this article and rules promulgated under this article.

(bb) "Origin" for an indigenous stand of trees means the area on which the trees are growing; for a nonindigenous stand, it is the place from which the seeds or plants were originally introduced.

(cc) "Other crop seed" means seed of plants grown as crops (other than the kind or variety included in the pure seed) as determined by methods defined by rule.

(dd) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, company, association, receiver, trustee, agent, fiduciary, firm or any group of organized persons whether incorporated or not.

(ee) "Pure seed" means seed exclusive of inert matter and all other seeds not of the seed being considered as determined by methods defined by rule.

(ff) "Registrant" means any person who registers as a seedsman in order to distribute seed for sowing purposes within the State.

(gg) "Seed potato" refers to the Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum) which must grade equal to or better than the minimum requirements of U.S. No. 1, from the standpoint of physical defects, size or disease, and must be certified by an official certifying agency.

(hh) "Seizure" means a legal process carried out by court order against a definite amount of seed.

(ii) "Stop sale or embargo" means an administrative order provided by this article, restraining the sale, use, disposition and movement of a definite amount of seed.

(jj) "Treated" means that the seed has received an application of a substance, or that it has been subjected to a process for which a claim is made.

(kk) "Tree and shrub seeds" includes seeds of woody plants commonly known and sold as tree and shrub seeds in this State.

(ll) "Tree seed collector"s declaration" means a statement signed by a grower or person having knowledge of the place of collection giving, for a lot of seed, the lot number, common or scientific name of the species (and subspecies, if appropriate), origin, elevation, and quantity of tree and shrub seed.

(mm) "Type" means a group of varieties so nearly similar that the individual varieties cannot be clearly differentiated except under special conditions.

(nn) "Variant" means any seed or plant which: (A) Is distinct within the variety but occurs naturally in the variety; (B) is stable and predictable with a degree of reliability comparable to other varieties of the same kind, within recognized tolerances, when the variety is reproduced or reconstituted; and (C) was originally a part of the variety as released. A variant is not an off-type.

(oo) "Variety" means a subdivision of a kind which is distinct, uniform and stable.

     (1) "Distinct" means that the variety can be differentiated by one or more identifiable morphological, physiological or other characteristics from all other varieties of public knowledge.

     (2) "Uniform" means that the variations in essential and distinctive characteristics are describable.

     (3) "Stable" means that the variety will remain unchanged in its essential and distinctive characteristics and its uniformity when reproduced or reconstituted as required by the different categories of varieties.

(pp) "Vegetable or herb seeds" includes 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 or herb seeds in this State.

(qq) "Weed seed" means the seeds of all plants generally recognized as weeds within this State, as determined by methods defined by rule, and includes the categories of prohibited noxious weed seeds and restricted noxious weed seeds.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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