Agricultural Seed Program

Seed picture
The Kansas state seed program regulates agricultural seed which includes grass, legume, forage, cereal and fiber crop seeds.  Vegetable, fruit, flower, tree and shrub seeds are considered horticultural seeds and are not regulated in Kansas.

The requirements within the Kansas Seed Law (K.S.A.  2-14-15) are there to benefit the producer, dealer and consumer by requiring the seed to be tested and labeled before it is offered for sale. 

This ensures that the consumer can determine the quality of the seed before purchasing it and the producer and dealer are protected against unfair competition by non-compliant people selling low quality seed.

The seed law can basically be broken down into three sections; Labeling, Registration and Certification.  Each of these and their impact on both the retailer and consumer will be discussed below.

  • Labeling

  • Registration

  • Certification

Interpreting a Seed Label


A seed label contains a lot of important information.  Familiarize yourself with these definitions and always read the label before you buy any seed.  Remember that while each label is required to have this information, each label may be different so be sure to look carefully to find what you are looking for.

Kind - The actual plant that will grow from the seed.

Variety - A subdivision of a kind, which has characteristics which differentiate it from other plants of the same kind.  Most varieties are protected by federal law and can only be sold by the company that developed them.

Germination % - The percent of all of the seed in the container that is capable of growing into a plant. 

Test date - When the germination % was determined.  The older the date, the lower the actual germination % may currently be.  By law this date cannot be more than 9 months old.

Weed seed % - The amount of weed seeds, by weight, included in the container.  State law restricts the number of seeds allowed per pound. 

Noxious weed seed - No noxious weed seeds are allowed in any container of agricultural seed.  Some of the species listed as noxious may only be noxious in other states.  Only Kansas noxious weed seeds are prohibited.

Inert matter - Anything in the container that is not a seed.

Other Crop Seed - All kinds and varieties of agricultural seeds not specifically named on the label.

Hard Seed - Seeds which do not germinate because of a hard seed coat.

Frequently Asked Questions