When used in this article:
(a) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture of the state of West Virginia or his duly authorized representatives;
(b) The term "person" shall include any individual, partnership, corporation, company, society or association;
(c) The term "agricultural seeds" shall include the seeds of grass, forage, cereal, tobacco and fiber crops and any other kinds of seeds commonly recognized within this state as agricultural or field seeds and mixtures of such seeds. Forest seeds shall include all deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs and ornamentals;
(d) The term "vegetable 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 seeds in this state;
(e) The term "seed potato" shall refer to the Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum);
(f) The term "weed seeds" shall include the seeds of all plants generally recognized as weeds within this state;
(g) Noxious weed seeds shall be divided into two classes, "prohibited weed seeds" and "noxious weed seeds," as defined in (1) and (2) of this subdivision: Provided, That the commissioner of agriculture may, through promulgation of regulations, add to or subtract from the list of seeds included under either definition whenever he finds that such additions or subtractions are within the respective definitions;
(1) "Prohibited weed seeds" are the seeds of perennial weeds which reproduce by seed, or spread by underground roots or stems, and which when established are highly destructive and difficult to control in this state by ordinary cultural practice;
"Prohibited weed seeds" in this state are the seeds of dodder (Cuscuta spp.), quack grass (Agropyrons repens), Johnson grass (Sorghum halapense), Canada thistle (Carduus arvensis), perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis), serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma);
(2) "Noxious weed seeds" are the seeds of such weeds as are very objectionable in fields, lawns or gardens of this state, but can be controlled by good cultural practice. "Noxious weed seeds" in this state are the seeds of wild onion (Allium vineale), hawk weed (Hieracum spp.), buckhorn (Plantago lanceolata), English charlock or wild mustard (Brassica arvensis), corn cockle (Agrostemma gilthago), oxeye daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum), Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), star thistle (Centurea solstitialis), wild carrot (Daucus carota), horse nettle (Solanum carolinas), field pepper grass (Lepidium compestre), wild morning glory (Ipomea purpurea), bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis);
(h) The term "labeling" includes all labels and other written, printed or graphic representation, in any form whatsoever, accompanying and pertaining to any seed whether in bulk or in containers, and includes invoices;
(i) The term "advertisement" means all representation, other than those on the label, disseminated in any manner or by any means, relative to seed within the scope of this article.
(a) For agricultural and forest seeds:
(1) Commonly accepted name of
(a) Kind and variety of each agricultural or forest seed component in excess of five percent of the whole, and the percentage by weight of each in order of its predominance. Where more than one component is required to be named, the word "mixture" or the word "mixed" shall be shown conspicuously on the label.
(b) If the variety is unknown, that fact shall be stated for each agricultural or forest seed component in excess of five percent of the whole.
(2) Lot number or other lot identification.
(3) Origin, if known, of alfalfa, red clover, forest seeds and field corn (except hybrid corn). If the origin is unknown that fact shall be stated.
(4) Percentage by weight of all weed seeds.
(5) The name and approximate number of each kind of noxious weed seed: (a) Per ounce in Agrostis spp., Poa spp., Rhodes grass, Bermuda grass, timothy, orchard grass, fescues, alsike and white clover, reed, canary grass, Dallas grass, ryegrass, foxtail millet, alfalfa, red clover, sweet clovers, lespedezas, smooth brome, crimson clover, Brassica spp., flax, Agropyron spp., and other agricultural seeds of similar size and weight, or mixtures within this group.
(b) Per pound in proso, Sudan grass, wheat, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, sorghums, vetches and other agricultural seeds of a size and weight similar to or greater than those within this group, or any mixtures within this group.
All determinations of noxious weed seeds shall be subject to tolerances and methods of determination prescribed in the rules and regulations under this article.
(6) Percentages by weight of agricultural seeds (which may be designated as "crop seeds"), other than those required to be named on the label.
(7) Percentage by weight of inert matter.
(8) For each named agricultural or forest seed: (a) Percentage of germination exclusive of hard seed; (b) percentage of hard seed, if present; (c) the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine each percentage.
Following (a) and (b) the "total germination and hard seeds" may be stated as such, if desired.
(9) Name and address of the person who labeled said seed, or who sells, offers or exposes said seed for sale within this state.
(10) For agricultural or forest seeds which germinate less than the standard last established by the commissioner under this article, the label shall show in addition to the previous requirements of this section, the words "germination below standard" in not less than eight point type.
(b) For vegetable seeds:
(1) Name of kind and variety;
(2) For seeds which germinate less than the standard last established by the commissioner under this article: (a) Percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed; (b) percentage of hard seed, if present; (c) the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages; (d) the words "below standard" in not less than eight point type; and
(3) Name and address of the person who labeled said seed, or who sells, offers or exposes said seed for sale within the state.
(c) For seed potatoes:
Only "certified" seed potatoes which grade from the standpoint of physical defects better than the minimumrequirements of U.S. No. 1 may be offered for sale as seed. There shall be attached to each bag or container a tag showing by whom certified, the standard or conditions under which said certification is made, and the name of the official state or governmental agency making the inspection upon which the certification is made.
(b) Application for a certificate of registration shall be made in writing to the commissioner on forms provided by the commissioner. Each application shall contain:
(1) The name and business address of the person applying for the certificate;
(2) A list of the seeds to be offered for sale;
(3) A consent for the commissioner to inspect and audit all sales invoices and records; and
(4) Any other necessary information prescribed by the commissioner.
(c) The commissioner shall require an annual fee of one dollar for each certificate of registration so issued.
(d) The commissioner shall cancel any certificate of registration upon receiving satisfactory evidence that any provisions of this article or any rules and regulations issued by the commissioner under the auspices of this article have been violated.
(e) Certificates of registration issued by the commissioner shall expire at the end of the calendar year of issue next after date of issue unless sooner revoked as herein provided.
(f) Any person who sells, offers to sell or exposes for sale or distribution any such seed shall report to the commissioner, on forms prescribed by the commissioner, on or before the fifteenth day of April, July, October and January of each year the net pounds of seeds sold by kind or variety and shall pay a state seed fee on such poundage as provided in the following schedule:
(1) For forest, tobacco, alfalfa, clovers and all grass or mixtures of any of these, and all vegetable seeds, except those packaged in units of eight ounces or less and sold from display units, ten cents for each one hundred pounds.
(2) For all other agricultural seeds, five cents for each one hundred pounds.
(3) For seed potatoes, two cents for each one hundred pounds.
(4) For vegetable seeds packaged in containers of eight ounces or less and sold from display units, one dollar per display unit which shall be paid through the purchase of seed stamps from the commissioner with such seed stamps being attached in a conspicuous place to each and every display unit.
(g) A dealer shall not be required to register or pay the seed fee on any agricultural, forest, or vegetable seed, or seed potato which he can prove was currently registered and with the fees paid by a person entitled to do so.
(h) All moneys collected in the enforcement of this article shall be deposited in a special revenue fund with the state treasurer, and shall be expended on order of the commissioner.
(1) Unless the test to determine the percentage of germination required by section two of this article shall have been completed within the test period prescribed in regulations issued by the commissioner;
(2) Not labeled in accordance with the provisions of this article or which has false or misleading labeling;
(3) Which has been the subject of false or misleading advertisement;
(4) Containing prohibited weed seeds, subject to tolerances and methods of determination prescribed in the rules and regulations issued under the auspices of this article;
(5) Containing more than two percent by weight of weed seed.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person within this state:
(1) To detach, alter, deface or destroy any label provided for in this article or the rules and regulations issued thereunder, or to alter or substitute seed in a manner that may defeat the purposes of this article;
(2) To disseminate any false or misleading advertisement concerning agriculture, forest, vegetable or potato seed in any manner or by any means;
(3) To hinder or obstruct in any way any authorized person in the performance of his duties under this article;
(4) To fail to comply with a "stop sale" order.
(b) No political subdivision may adopt or continue in effect any local laws, ordinances or regulations relating to the regulating, registration, packaging, labeling, sale, storage, distribution, transportation or any other use of seeds.
(c) Local laws, ordinances or regulations in violation of this section are void and unenforceable.
(1) To grain or potatoes not intended for seeding purposes;
(2) To seed in storage in or consigned to a seed cleaning or processing establishment for cleaning or processing: Provided, That any labeling or other representation which may be made with respect to the uncleaned or unprocessed seed shall be subject to this article;
(b) No person shall be subject to the penalties of this article for having sold or offered or exposed for sale in this state any agricultural, vegetable or potato seeds which were incorrectly labeled or represented as to kind, variety, type, or origin, which seeds cannot be identified by examination thereof, unless he has failed to obtain an invoice or grower's declaration giving kind, or kind and variety, or kind and type, and origin, if required, and to take such other precautions as may be necessary to insure the identity to be that stated.
(1) To establish germination standards for agricultural, forest and vegetable seeds;
(2) To sample, inspect, make analysis of, and test agricultural, forest, vegetable and potato seeds transported, sold or offered or exposed for sale within this state for seeding purposes, at such time and place and to such extent as he may deem necessary to determine whether such seeds are in compliance with the provisions of this article, and to notify promptly the person who transported, sold, offered or exposed the seed for sale, of any violation;
(3) To prescribe and adopt rules and regulations governing the methods of sampling, inspecting, analysis, tests and examination of agricultural, forest and vegetable seed, and the tolerances to be followed in the administration of this article, which shall be in general accord with officially prescribed practice in interstate commerce, and such other rules and regulations as may be necessary to secure the efficient enforcement of this article.
(b) Further for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this article the commissioner, individually or through his authorized agents, is authorized:
(1) To enter upon any public or private premises during regular business hours in order to have access to seeds subject to this article and the rules and regulations thereunder;
(2) To issue and enforce a written or printed "stop sale" order to the owner or custodian of any lot of seed which the commissioner finds is in violation of any provisions of this article, which order shall prohibit further sale or movement of such seed until the commissioner has released the same;
(3) To establish and maintain or make provisions for seed testing facilities, to employ qualified persons, and to incur such expenses as may be necessary to comply with these provisions;
(4) To make or provide for making purity and germination tests of seeds for farmers and dealers on request; to prescribe rules and regulations governing such testing; and to fix and collect charges for the tests made. Such fees shall be deposited with the state treasurer in a special revenue fund and may be expended on order of the commissioner;
(5) To cooperate with the United States department of agriculture in seed law enforcement;
(6) To establish a certifying agency for seed grown in this state.
When the commissioner shall find that any person has violated any of the provisions of this article, he or his duly authorized agent or agents may institute proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction: Provided, however, That no prosecution under this article shall be instituted without the defendant first having been given an opportunity to appear before the commissioner or his duly authorized agent to introduce evidence, either in person or by agent or attorney, at a hearing. If, after such hearing, or without such hearing in case the defendant or his agent or attorney fails or refuses to appear, the commissioner is of the opinion that the evidence warrants prosecution, he shall proceed according to law.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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