Maine Revised Statutes

§951-A. Minimum standards for planting

A person may not plant seed potatoes in the State, the product of which is intended for sale, in lots of one or more acres unless that seed is certified in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner. These rules may include without limitation requirements for filing reports with the commissioner and requirements for filing records to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee, upon request, that demonstrate that the potatoes planted have been properly certified. A person, firm or corporation that plants potatoes in violation of this section is subject to a fine of $1,000 plus not more than $400 per acre for each acre or part of an acre planted . Failure to file complete and accurate reports or failure to provide complete and accurate records in accordance with the rules adopted by the commissioner is an additional violation resulting in a separate fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each such failure. Any fine collected under this section is payable to the Treasurer of State and credited without lapsing to the commissioner for the enforcement of this section. The commissioner shall adopt and may amend rules consistent with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act to implement this section. In addition to the enforcement powers and penalties established in this section, the commissioner may issue subpoenas to any individual in order to compel delivery of any reports or records required under this section. These subpoenas are enforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction. [2013, c. 475, §1 (AMD).]

In the event there is not available to be planted in Maine in any year a sufficient volume of Maine potato seed meeting Maine certified seed potato disease standards, in any or all varieties, the commissioner may, upon application of one or more growers, permit seed of a higher disease content to be planted for that growing season. [1979, c. 532, §1 (NEW).]

Each grower shall keep records of seed planted by variety and by fields during the growing season and report planting records as may be requested by the commissioner. Notwithstanding Title 1, chapter 13, records pertaining to minimum standards for planting received or kept by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are confidential and not available for inspection. The confidential status terminates when the records are subpoenaed as evidence in any proceeding to enforce a provision of this section, or in any prosecution for a criminal violation. A grower may authorize in writing the disclosure of records pertaining to minimum standards for planting. [1989, c. 783, (AMD); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).]

1979, c. 532, §1 (NEW). 1985, c. 184, (AMD). 1989, c. 783, (AMD). 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV). 2013, c. 475, §1 (AMD).