Agricultural Seed - Labeling Requirements

Nursery & Seed Specialist: Andria McCubbin-Green, McCubbinGreenA@Michigan.gov, 517-599-5748

Agricultural Seed and Mixtures of Agricultural Seed

Agricultural seed means the seed of grass, forage, cereal, fiber, and oil plants, and any other seed commonly recognized in the state as agricultural or field seed, lawn seed or mixtures of those seeds.

Label Requirements

Each container of agricultural seed offered for sale for planting purposes must have attached to the container in a visible place a label or tag with the following information. (Note: If the seed is distributed in bulk, the required information must accompany delivery, and must be provided to the purchaser at the time of delivery.)

  1. The commonly accepted name of the kind or kind and variety of each agricultural seed component in excess of 5% by weight of the whole, including the percentage by weight of each seed component in the order of its predominance.
    • If any seed component is a hybrid, the label must have the name of the hybrid and the word "hybrid" in connection with the kind of agricultural seed component.
    • If the seed is a blend, the word "blend" must appear on the label in connection with name of the kind of agricultural seed.
    • If the seed is a mixture, the word "mixture" or "mix" must be stated clearly on the label.
  2. The percentage by weight of all weed seed present.
    • The name and the number per pount, if present, of each kind of restricted noxious weed see, except buckhorn and yellow rocket, which must be shown on the label only when in excess of 90 seeds per pound.
    • The precentage of germination exclusive of dorman or hard seed, the percentage of dormant or hard see if present, and the calendar month and year that these percentages were determined by test. 
    • Percentage by weight of crop seed other than those required to be named on the label. This figure must be shown under the heading "crop" or "other crop".
  3. The percentage by weight of inert matter. Any coating material must be included as inert matter, and a statement of percentage of the coating material may be shown immediately following inert matter. 
    • NOTE: The percentage by weight of agricultural seed, weed seed, other crop and inert matter must total 100. 
  4. A lot number or identifying mark.
  5. For alfalfa, red clover, and white clover, the state or foreign country where originally grown. If the origin is unknown, that fact should be stated.
  6. The name and complete address of the person who labels the seed or sells the seed within the state of Michigan.

Additional Label Requirements for Agricultural Seed That Has Been Treated

Seed that has been treated with an irritating or poisonous substance, harmful to humans or other vertebrate animals must be colored or dyed with a color contrasting with the natural color of the seed. The following information must appear on the label:

  1. A warning statement in 12-point or larger type that the seed has been treated.
  2. The common coined, chemical, or abbreviated chemical name of the substance applied to the seed.
  3. A caution statement in 12-point type as follows: "Treated seed-do not use for food, feed, or oil purposes."

Furthermore, if the seed has been treated, and the treatment is not irritating, poisonous, or harmful to humans or other vertebrate animals, the seed must be labeled with a statement, in 12-point or larger type, describing the applied substance.

Additional Label Requirements for Agricultural Seed that Contains a Percentage of Hybrid Seed

In addition to the standard label requirements, when agricultural seed consists of less than 95 % hybrid seed, the percent that is hybrid must be labeled parenthetically in direct association following the named variety, for example COMET (85% hybrid). Varieties that consist of less than 75% hybrid seed must not be labeled as hybrids.

Seed Labeling Requirements Example Photo

Visit www.michigan.gov/MDARD-Seed for details.