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regulations for selling seeds?

 
Posts: 528
Location: Eastern Kansas
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I could raise them in the summer and sell by mail all winter.

The thing is, if an open pollinated seed is copyrighted, what do I do? Contact the company with the patent and ask them if I can raise their seeds in my large back yard for a percent? I really do not think that they would be interested on something as tiny as me.

I expect that some of the heirloom seeds have expired copyrights? Is there some place I could go to check?
 
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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i could be wrong here but
my understanding is that heirloom seed cannot be patented and is "public domain"

if you make your own variety from crossing subspecies (even if one is patented?) you can sell it as your own...but then you are dealing with all the fussy details of breeding and isolation, and theres a lot to know about this to do it well.

if you cross heirloom varieties you can also sell those seeds and rename them.

again i could be wrong here...
you could at least try to contact the person....

there are however other regulations about selling and mailing seeds, and especially plants- which many people seem to ignore! i'm kinda all for ignoring that sort of stuff..but there are some regulations about this kind of thing that people bend the rules and get away with.
 
steward
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Location: FL
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Check your state regulations for seed production. Each state is different, although the rules in this day and age are fairly standardized.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture would be the place to look.
In Florida requirements include seed cleaned of debris, labeling with regards to when the seed was harvested and the results of germination testing. This state requires a license to sell seed, I think its $100 for 2 years.
 
Terri Matthews
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Location: Eastern Kansas
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I sent an Email to the Kansas department of agriculture, asking them who I needed to talk to, as the website is frustratingly large. I will hope for a response on Monday.

Then I need to see if I can raise the chosen plants or if the wildlife will destroy it. That should be done the next summer.

If it is too complicated to sell the seed I may just try to raise Painted Mountain corn. If I cannot sell seeds as seeds, I wonder if I could sell the brightly colored corn in October? This year the raccoons are leaving the Painted Mountain corn alone but it might be a fluke. It has very tight, long husks that the raccoons have not figured out at this time.

It would be pretty cool to take off a crop of corn, sow the land with a cover crop like oats, mow the oats and let them winter kill, and then plant the corn through the dead oats the next spring for another crop.
 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Your County Extension Agent should be able to answer your questions.

The rules would probably change drastically if you are sending these seeds out of state.
The USDA has its own rules, which would apply to anything leaving your state.

There are dozens of people doing this on eBay. I doubt that most of them are adhering to all of the rules.



 
leila hamaya
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you might also try some of the seed companies, i have heard of people growing certain seed for a seed company. they would theoretically give you their seed to start and then you grow it , send it back to them, and they sell it. i dont know how common this is, or if you can get this kind of gig....

i've had similar thoughts about selling seed. theres a lot to learn about seed saving though before you get really good at it....so thats where i am at with it...still getting more knowledge about different seeds. it is different than growing for production of food...theres a lot more particulars if you are going to get reliably good seed and a lot to learn.

and yeah i also think people do not always comply with the regulations, and you can do that for a bit...but if you want to do a business you would probably want to have it mostly legit...
 
Terri Matthews
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Location: Eastern Kansas
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The Kansas Department of Agriculture says they do not regulate garden seeds.

I have yet to hear back from the extension office.

I have been known to ignore a small regulation from time to time, but it is better for my blood pressure if I know what the regulations are. So, I once sold in a Farmers Market without a tax number.... but nobody else had one either so I did not worry about that.
 
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Not Sure on the US but in Australia , if you a) don't earn over 50k a year and b) don't "trade" anything over $60 , then you don't need a business tax number
allows you to sell seeds or plants as long as you don't sell into restricted agriculture zones (disease / pest prevention) and , not able to sell owned genetics (Patented)....
 
Terri Matthews
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I think it is time to update this thread.

There are quite a few regulations abut testing the seeds you sell, and I might or might get that done. Then again I do not believe that everybody that sells a packet in the mail is in compliance. I must think about this: I have 6 months to makeup my mind.

An alternative would be to raise the corn for its beauty, and perhaps make a braid of corn and offer to go halvsies with any established vendor who would like to sell it for me. I do not have the energy to both raise and sell.

Option #3: get on with a seed company and raise something that they want. I tried this before but heavy rains destroyed the crop and things went downhill after that. My kale was wonderful this year: I wonder if I could try selling seeds again? I could order a packet of heirloom kale and plant it as usual, and then if I was interested in selling seed I could offer it to the small seed company for the next year. Or, I could sell the seed on-line. I believe I could keep the plant pure as nobody upwind of me raises vegetables as far as I can see. I can put bags over the seed heads and then take them off on a windless day so that the flowers could be pollinated.

So, option #4 could be to sell the heirloom seeds on-line if no seed company was interested.

Nothing can be done before next year, and honestly I am too busy to mess with things this year anyways. I am mostly planning for the future, or for when life slows down. Whichever one comes first!
 
Ken Peavey
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In the US you already have a tax ID number (TIN). It is your social security number.
If you conduct trade using it you are operating as a sole proprietor.
If you set up a corporation or other legal entity you can apply for a TIN for that entity. You get that from the state, takes a week, maybe two.
If you hire someone you get an EIN, employer ID number, from the US government. It's a one page form from the IRS.
 
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