WSR 08-19-116

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed September 17, 2008, 11:55 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-12-110.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing to establish a quality Timothy seed program in Washington state by adding new rule sections to chapter 16-302 WAC, General rules for seed certification. The new sections are in response to a petition that the department received from the Organization of Kittitas County Timothy Hay Growers & Suppliers. They have been developed with the help of an ad hoc work group representing the production and consumption members of the Timothy seed industry and higher education research institutions.

Hearing Location(s): Washington Cattleman's Association, 1301 North Dolarway Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926, on Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at 2:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 14, 2008.

Submit Written Comments to: Teresa Norman, Washington State Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail wsdarulescomments@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-2092, by 5:00 p.m., October 29, 2008.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact the agency receptionist, TTY (360) 902-1976.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this proposal is to address issues raised by the Timothy hay growers and Timothy seed distributors of Washington. These issues revolve around the need for Timothy hay growers to have a mechanism to identify higher quality seed lots free from certain contaminants that are detrimental to Timothy hay production.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Currently there is no program in place for the Timothy hay industry to identify high quality seed lots. The result is that seed lots are tested multiple times resulting in increased costs and time delays. This proposal will create a voluntary program by where Timothy seed lots will be tested utilizing a higher amount of seed than the standard purity test. Lots that are found to be free of particular contaminants will be tagged with a "Quality Timothy Seed" tag that will be readily identifiable to the distributors and growers thus providing a mechanism for the highest quality seed lots to be utilized for Timothy hay production. The result will be that Timothy seed lots would be tested only one time. From that the quality would be determined and would allow seed distributors to efficiently and confidently move seed to the appropriate markets.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapters 15.49 and 34.05 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 15.49 RCW.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Organization of Kittitas County Timothy Hay Growers & Suppliers, private; and Washington state department of agriculture, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Victor Shaul, Yakima, Washington, (509) 249-6950; Implementation and Enforcement: Fawad Shah, Yakima, Washington, (509) 249-6959.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a) requires an agency to prepare a small business economic impact statement (SBEIS) for proposed rules that impose a more than minor cost on the businesses in an industry. Information provided to the department from the working group indicated that the current practice was to test Timothy seed lots multiple times by the different facets of the industry. This multiple testing did not enhance the value of the seed lot, but did result in added costs as the seed moved from the producer, the seed cleaner, the wholesaler, and then finally the grower. It was determined that this voluntary program would allow for the lot to be tested once at the beginning of the process and ultimately would reduce the total testing costs associated with moving a Timothy seed lot to market. The department has concluded that the Timothy seed industry does not consider the costs imposed by the proposed quality seed program to be "more than minor" and, therefore, has not prepared a formal SBEIS.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington state department of agriculture is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

September 17, 2008

Dennis Hannapel

Assistant Director

OTS-1923.1


NEW SECTION
WAC 16-302-740   What are the standards for quality timothy seed certification?   (1) The general seed certification definitions and standards found in WAC 16-302-005 through 16-302-130, the grass seed certification standards found in WAC 16-302-320 through 16-302-390, and the requirements found in WAC 16-302-745 through 16-302-755 constitute the standards for quality timothy seed certification.

(2) Fees for quality timothy seed certification are assessed by the certifying agency as established in chapter 16-303 WAC.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 16-302-745   Seed certification requirements.   (1) In order for a seed lot to be eligible for quality timothy seed certification it must meet field and seed certification standards as defined in WAC 16-302-330 through 16-302-385.

(2) For a timothy seed lot that has already been certified, a copy of the certification tag must be submitted as proof of certification.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 16-302-750   Official sampling requirements.   The seed test for the quality timothy seed program must be conducted on an officially drawn sample taken in accordance with WAC 16-302-090.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 16-302-755   Standards for quality timothy seed.   (1) Seed standards for quality timothy grass seed are as follows:


Minimum Purity Minimum Viability by Germination or TZ Test Maximum Other Crop* Maximum Weed**
Timothy seed 97% 85% 0.2% .02%
Purity component percentages are based on 1 gram sample size as prescribed by the AOSA rules.

* Must be free of ryegrass, orchardgrass, Agrostis sp., Poa sp., brome, reed canarygrass, tall fescue, and meadow foxtail.
Must be free of the above listed contaminants based upon a 50 gram examination.

** Must be free of alfilaria (redstem filaree), bromus sp., Chickweed, Henbit, Poa sp., wild carrot, and prohibited noxious weeds listed in WAC 16-301-045 and restricted noxious weeds listed in WAC 16-301-050.
Must be free of the above listed contaminants based upon a 50 gram examination.

(2) A quality timothy seed analysis certificate is the basis of determining if a lot meets the quality timothy seed standards. This certificate is issued by the certifying agency and represents a purity test, a 50 gram noxious, all weed, all crop exam, and a viability test.

(3) Seed meeting quality timothy seed standards will be tagged with a "quality timothy seed" tag.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office