Certified Seed Requirement

Registration Requirement for Potato Growers

The requirements of the Seed Potato Act, Public Act 94 of 2018, went into effect Jan. 1, 2021. The act requires the use of certified seed for all farms growing over one acre of potatoes.  In addition, it requires that each person growing potatoes in combined seed lots of 1 acre or more in the state of Michigan, must notify the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) by Jan. 1 of each year.

Notification is quick and easy and can be completed by clicking on the following link:  

MDARD Michigan Potato Grower Registration Form

Why did we need Act 94?

The requirements in Act 94 were needed to bring Michigan in compliance with the State National Harmonization Program (SNHP) for seed potatoes.  The SNHP is a partnership between State and Federal agencies which helps to facilitate trade and to address present and future potato pest issues in a coordinated fashion. Each participating State agrees to follow baseline standards regarding both quarantine and non-quarantine potato pests, creating a framework in which interstate and international commerce can be facilitated.  One of the most important requirements of the SNHP is that states only distribute and/or plant certified seed. 

Act 94 of 2018 / Regulation 629

The Michigan potato industry worked with MDARD to write and pass Act 94 of 2018 and regulation 629, which requires:

  • Any person who distributes combined seed lots sufficient to plant 1 or more acres in the state must only distribute certified seed.
  • Any person planting potatoes in combined seed lots sufficient to plant 1 or more acres in the state may only plant certified seed.  
    • Exceptions:  
      • If potatoes were grown as part of a grower’s operation and are no more than one year from certified. 
      • In any year there is an insufficient volume of any cultivar of certified seed potatoes, growers can apply to the Michigan Seed Potato Advisory Committee for an exception. Restrictions apply.
  • Growers must keep records as described in the act for a period of two years and be subject to a records review.
  • MDARD must review records from 10% of the registered potato growers annually.
  • Penalties apply for non-compliance with the act. 

Detailed information about these requirements and the insufficient cultivar exception process can be found on the MDARD website at https://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7-125-2390---,00.html.

If you have questions, please contact Patricia Bizoukas, MDARD Fruit & Vegetable Inspection Program Manager, at 517-512-3603 or bizoukasp@michigan.gov.