What's Needed on an Invoice

Investigation of Arbitration complaints and routine seed tonnage auditing have revealed the need for more complete information on invoices.

Farmers who purchase seed and later need to file for seed arbitration are required to give the lot number of the seed purchased. This information was lacking on many of the cases filed, and often became a “guess”, making the cases very difficult or impossible to arbitrate. Also, Plant Board Auditors auditing licensed seed dealers and their subsidiaries found the most common errors to be a lack of information on the invoice.

Federal Seed Act regulations also require labeling and retention of records for all persons delivering seed for transport in interstate commerce in such a manner that the seed is traceable from the grower to the ultimate consumer. The lot number (or other identification linking to the complete record of the seed) is needed on invoices in order to maintain this traceability.

Seedsmen (labelers) are required to provide a label for all seed sold giving information regarding the purity, germination and noxious weeds, so growers can have a record of the quality of the seed they are planting.

When this seed is sold by a retailer and bags of seed are broken - and the seed is delivered to the grower in bulk - the retailer or distributer is responsible for providing the labeling from the seedsman to the customer. When seed is delivered in bulk, the labeling from the seed should be attached to the invoice.

Therefore: To maintain good records, check your procedures and make available the following information on your invoices -

  • Lot Number
  • Kind and Variety
  • Certified or not
  • Bulk or Bagged and Bag Weight
  • Address of Buyer (city/state)

Arkansas’ seed regulations require:

  • A label with the required information listed shall be on or attached to each container of agricultural seed for planting purposes
  • If seed is in bulk the label shall accompany each sale, either on the invoice or on a separate sheet or tag.
  • Each seedsman whose name appears on the label of seed sold or offered for sale in Arkansas to keep the records and test data from the lot for a period of two years. In order to trace the record to the seed sold, the lot number must be on the label and the invoice.
  • Persons who sell, offer, expose, distribute or transport agricultural seed -to have it labeled in accordance with the provisions of AR rules and regulations, and the labeling must not be false or misleading.

Saving and Selling Rice Seed

Many varieties of rice have been protected by Plant Variety Protection (PVPA) laws and/or Utility Patents. The following information will help you sort out what is required for selling or saving some of the most widely used varieties.

Patented varieties such as the Clearfield™ rice cannot be saved for planting or selling. Patented varieties also may have additional requirements - check with the Variety Owner, your Seedsman or Grower/Dealer for those requirements. Some Clearfield™ or other patented varieties are also PVPA Title V protected and must be sold by variety name as a class of certified seed.

PVPA Varieties that have been (or are in the process of being) applied on for Plant Variety Protection must meet the following requirements:

Comply with Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA 1994)

  • A farmer must have permission from the variety owner to sell the seed (Most of the rice varieties developed by the University of AR are required to be in the AR Certification program and have received a certified class on the laboratory complete analysis). Varieties that have been additionally protected under Title V of the PVPA must be sold as bagged & tagged Certified Seed.
  • All PVPA 94 protected varieties must be sold by variety name. (This is also a requirement under AR regulations for all rice sold for planting.)
  • A farmer can still save and plant seed on his own farm.
  • A buyer of a protected variety for use in non-reproductive purposes (grain), may not convert that grain to productive purposes.

There are additional requirements under AR state regulations for selling agricultural seed of any kind for planting purposes. Some of the older rice varieties - for example Bengal and Cypress, are not required to have received a certified class in order to sell for planting. However, those who sell this seed (or any agricultural seed) must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have an Arkansas Seed Dealer’s License and be responsible for tonnage fees on all seed sold in Arkansas.
  2. Have a complete analysis (germination and purity) and give all required labeling information to each buyer. All rice seed must be sold by variety name.
  3. Be responsible for rice promotion fees (collected by DF & A) - for more information call (501) 682-7191.

Need more information? Call the Plant Board Seed Division at (501) 225-1598.