Maine Revised Statutes

§2103-A. Certification of seed potatoes

1. Certification required.  Seed potatoes may not be certified beyond 5 generations of the seed originally acquired from a nuclear seed generation source meeting criteria established by the department's rules. Seed potatoes imported into the State must meet the State's certification standards and all import certificates must designate the imported seed's generation, which must equal and compare to a state certified seed designation. The imported seed must "flush out" at the same rate as the equivalent state seed generation. The commissioner may test, or cause to be tested, a seed lot imported into the State if the commissioner has reason to believe the seed lot is, or may be infected with a potato disease that poses a risk to the well-being of the State's potato industry. A person importing seed or receiving imported seed that the commissioner indicates must be tested shall submit a sample for testing. A person may not plant seed from an imported seed lot required to be tested under this subsection until the seed sample is tested and meets allowable disease standards for seed potatoes produced in the State.
[ 1997, c. 538, §2 (AMD) .]
2. Winter tested.  No seed potato may be certified which has not been winter tested. Seed shipped before winter test results are available shall be certified based on field certification.
[ 1987, c. 336, (NEW) .]
3. Bacterial ring rot.  The commissioner may withhold from certification for in-state sales for that year any seed potatoes grown on a farm on which bacterial ring rot has been detected.
[ 1987, c. 336, (NEW) .]
4. Release to public.  For the benefit of the Maine potato industry as a whole, only varieties of seed potatoes that have been released to the public, as provided in this subsection, may be certified, except that varieties of seed potatoes that are protected by patent or are otherwise not released to the public may be certified if the applicant for certification demonstrates that the applicant has been authorized to propagate the variety by the patent holder or, if there is no patent, the registered breeder. Notwithstanding Title 1, chapter 13, subchapter I, all records pertaining to patented and nonreleased potato varieties received or kept by the department are confidential and not available for inspection. A grower may authorize in writing the disclosure of records pertaining to patented or nonreleased potato varieties. Pursuant to the rule-making provisions of the Maine Administrative Procedure Act, Title 5, chapter 375, the commissioner shall establish rules for the administration of this subsection, including, without limitation, procedures for demonstrating authorization from a patent holder or registered breeder and the establishment of a registry of bona fide breeders and patent holders of potato varieties. For purposes of this subsection, a potato variety is deemed to have been released to the public upon publication of a description of that variety for purposes of release in the North America Potato Variety Inventory, published by the Potato Association of America, or in the American Potato Journal or another equivalent scientific or technical journal.
[ 1997, c. 388, §5 (AMD) .]
5. Rules.  The commissioner may adopt rules to provide for exemptions from any of the requirements of this section when the application of the requirements would work a hardship on the Maine potato industry, and seed potato quality would not thereby be jeopardized; provided that the commissioner may not waive the requirements of subsection 4 relating to the certification of seed potatoes of patented or nonreleased potato varieties.
[ 1987, c. 336, (NEW) .]
6. Repeal.  Subsection 7 is repealed July 1, 1988 and subsection 8 is repealed July 1, 1990.
[ 1993, c. 125, §1 (AMD) .]
7. Limitation. 
[ 1987, c. 336, (NEW); MRSA T. 7, §2103-A, sub-§6 (RP) .]
8. Grower's own seed. 
[ 1987, c. 336, (NEW); MRSA T. 7, §2103-A, sub-§6 (RP) .]
1983, c. 565, §1 (NEW). 1983, c. 727, (AMD). 1987, c. 336, (RPR). 1993, c. 125, §1 (AMD). 1997, c. 388, §5 (AMD). 1997, c. 538, §2 (AMD).