Using or Selling Harvested Cover Crop Seed

Posted July 2019

SOURCE: NE Cropwatch

From article posted July 24 by Steve Knox - Manager of the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association | S. Corey Brubaker - NRCS State Conservation Agronomist

If you are looking to use or sell your harvested cover crop seed in the following year, you need to consider the following:
- What seed source was used in planting
- If federal cost-share assistance was used in planting
- If looking to sell,  all state regulations are met
- If cover crop is covered by the Plant Variety Protection (PVP)  (This appears on the seed labeling or you can contact the company you purchased the seed)

Seed originating from protected seed cannot be sold to other farmers or planted the following year. Common protected seed types are oat, wheat triticale, and types of rye seed.

Seed that isn’t protected may be used the next year for your own farm.

You cannot harvest crops for grain if they are:
- Cover crops planted using USDA Cost-Share Assistance, by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or using prevented planting benefits from RMA

For more on prevented planting insurance provisions visit

For selling unprotected cover crop seed that was  not planted using federal funding,  the state regulatory steps are:
- Obtain a state permit to sell the seed
- Clean and condition seed and send a representative sample to the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association. They test the sample for purity, noxious weed seed, and germination rate.
-To sell seed in Nebraska, it is mandatory to have an analysis label that lists the results of the testing, seed treatments given, seed lot identifier, and name and address of the seed seller. The seller can make this label or the NCIA.

For three years, the grower of the seed must keep a lot of the seed from which the sample was taken. Their seed could be chosen for resampling by the NDA to test and verify that it matches the test results on its label.

For more information view the Seed Law and related statutes online or contact the Nebraska Department of Agriculture or the Nebraska Crop Improvement Association.

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