Arizona produces many seed crops that are grown for planting and exported globally. These seed crops can be damaged by a number of pests and diseases that are monitored and inspected for by the Plant Services Division. Their presence alone can be enough to disqualify a seed crop for export, or limit a product's marketability.
Safeguarding Arizona’s seed production industry is accomplished through regulating commodities that are imported to Arizona that could harbor a dangerous plant pest and could potentially have a detrimental effect on the seed industry. Inspections and surveys for plant pests and diseases that could damage plant health and the marketability of a seed crop focus on a number of issues, like noxious weeds, insect pests and a variety of diseases. Some seed products that have been genetically modified must be approved by USDA-APHIS before being imported or exported. More information can be found the USDA-APHIS website. The Arizona Crop Improvement Association assists the Division in certifying seed products for export.
Exporting seed products:
Phyto Field Inspection — For seed commodity export (download form)
Depending on the state, there are certain requirements for seed quality standards and seed health. Seed quality standards are regulated by the Departments, Environmental Services Division (ESD) and health standards, like lettuce mosaic virus (under A.A.C. R3-4-233), are regulated by the Plant Services Division (PSD). For more information on selling or labeling seed in Arizona please contact ESD at (602) 542-4499.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to have my seed tested?
The answer to this is two-fold:
It is the law. Arizona and the Federal government both have laws outlining and regulating the way seed is to be sold in the state. The definitions and protocols are quite specific as to what is to be done, how it is to be done, and when it is to be done.
It is consumer protection. Anyone that goes into an establishment to buy seed needs to know that the seed in that package is what the labeler claims it is and that it will perform at a certain level. As a regulator it is our job to sample seed has it comes into the state and as it appears on the store shelves to make sure the public is getting what they are paying for.For more information, call (602) 542-0986.
Do I have to have a license to sell or label seed in Arizona?
Yes, you must have a license to either sell or label seed in Arizona.
Will the State Agricultural Lab test my seed for me?
The State Agricultural Lab (SAL) can test seed for the public but only if the seed will be exported out of the country. The majority of the seed testing done at SAL is regulatory samples obtained by ADA inspectors.
For more information, call (602) 744-4901.