The Grain, Feed and Seed Program licenses and regulates commodity handlers in Ohio; helps assure label claims are accurate on all agricultural, vegetable, flower and lawn seeds; and monitors animal feed, including pet food, to make sure claims of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and antibiotics are accurate.
Licensed grain handlers are required to meet certain net worth requirements, verified by financial statements annually submitted to the department. Licensed handlers are required to have insurance coverage equal to full-market value on all grain in their facilities to protect all or part of their losses in case of fire or other disasters. This section also administers the state grain indemnity fund, which reimburses eligible farmers when a licensed elevator becomes insolvent.
Inspectors examine records and check production facilities for verification that feeds are manufactured properly. They help assure precautions are taken to prevent possible cross-contamination and that feeds are correctly labeled to prevent any prohibited material from being fed to ruminants. Program staff members work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration performing inspections to help prevent the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The Grain, Feed and Seed Program licenses and regulates grain commodity handlers in Ohio. A grain commodity handler is anyone:
- whose annual purchases of agricultural commodities exceeds 30,000 bushels from producers,
- or who operates a facility as a bailee for receiving, storing, shipping or conditioning of an agricultural commodity,
- or who receive commodities under a delayed price agreement,
- or who offers marketing functions that exert control over the monetary proceeds of an agricultural commodity.
Licensed handlers are required to meet certain net worth requirements, verified by financial statements (ORC 926) annually submitted to the department. Licensed handlers are required to have insurance coverage equal to full-market value on all grain in their facilities to protect all or part of their losses in case of fire or other disasters.
Please contact our office for the license application form. Forms for proof of insurance are available here. Along with the application, insurance, and financial requirements, a $200 fee is required for the main location, $100 for each branch location, plus the applicable Storage Exam Fees. Licenses can be renewed on an annual basis, with the exact expiration date based on the headquarter county.
Agricultural Commodity Tester Certification
In addition to the grain commodity handler licenses, the program also certifies Commodity Testers, who provide and/or apply quality tests on agricultural commodities. These testers must pay a $25 application fee, and attend an approved training course or successfully pass the written test administered by ODA. New applicants must pass the written test before applying. Certificates are valid for three years, with the exact expiration date based on the county of residence. Application forms are available here.
Storage Examination Fees
Grain storage exam fees are paid by commodity handlers at the time of licensing; these fees are used to pay for the program's examination and administrative costs. Each application for a license or renewal needs to include an application fee of $200 for the first facility, plus $100 for each additional facility. In addition, each application needs to include a Storage Capacity Examination fee for each facility operated by the applicant.
|Storage Capacity||Exam Fee|
If the MINIMUM number
And the MAXIMUM number
|Then the Examination Fee is:|
|10,000,000+||$1,200.00 + $30.00 per million bushels above 10,000,000 bushels|
Commodity Advisory Commission
The Ohio Commodity Advisory Commission was formed to advise on the Grain Indemnity Fund program. Each of the seven members of the commission is appointed by the director of agriculture, and serves for a term of three years. The commission is composed of:
- three farmers, who are engaged primarily in the production of agricultural commodities
- one licensed handler, who is the manager of a farmers cooperative
- one licensed handler, who is the owner and operator of a warehouse located in a rural area
- one licensed handler, representing a warehouse located at a major agricultural commodity transportation center
- one banker, who is an officer of a rural bank
|Anthony Anderson||Farmer/producer of agricultural commodities||12/31/2024|
|Ron Burns||Farmer/producer of agricultural commodities||12/31/2025|
|Jack Groselle||Farmer/producer of agricultural commodities||12/31/2025|
|George Secor||Manager of a Farmer Cooperative (Sunrise Cooperative)||12/31/2025|
|Gary Luginbill||Officer of an elevator in a rural area (Pandora Grain & Supply, Inc.)||12/31/2023|
|Scott Thibaut||Licensed Handler major transportation facility (Consolidated Grain and Barge)||12/31/2025|
|Kent Kramer||Officer of a rural bank (The Richwood Banking Company)||12/31/2024|
Grain Indemnity Fund
Ohio's Agricultural Commodity Handler's law was first established on July 1, 1983. Prior to this, Ohio farmers lost approximately $8 million due to grain elevator bankruptcies and failures since 1968. The Indemnity Fund was created through a half cent per bushel assessment on grain marketed at licensed elevators in Ohio and collected from July 1, 1983, to December 31, 1985.
Claims to the Indemnity Fund are handled through the Grain, Feed and Seed Program and must be approved or disapproved by the Commodity Advisory Commission. Claim forms are available here.
The Grain, Feed, and Seed Program monitors animal feed, including pet food, to make sure claims of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and antibiotics are accurate. Inspectors examine records and check production facilities for verification that feeds are manufactured properly. They help assure precautions are taken to prevent possible cross contamination and that feeds are correctly labeled to prevent any prohibited material from being fed to ruminants. Program staff members work with the U.S. FDA performing inspections to help prevent the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Manufacturers of commercial feed or whose name appears on the label of a commercial feed as a distributor are required to be registered with the department. In addition, commercial feed distributed in Ohio needs to be labeled with several pieces of information, including, but not limited to:
- Net weight of contents
- Product name
- Guaranteed analysis of the feed
- Common name of each ingredient used
Applications for Feed Registrants are available here. Registrations have no expiration date or application fee, however marketplace labels are required to be submitted for each product.
The first distributor of a commercial feed is required to pay an inspection fee of $0.25 per ton on all commercial feeds distributed by the first distributor in this state, unless the distribution is made to an exempt buyer. Exempt feed buyers are required to pay the inspection fee on behalf of the distributor.
The Grain, Feed, and Seed Program is responsible for testing germination of packaged seeds, and assure label claims are accurate on all agricultural, vegetable, flower and lawn seeds. Anyone who labels agricultural, vegetable, or flower seed for sale is required to have a valid seed labeler permit. In addition, permit holders must report sales of seed and pay an inspection fee.
The Ohio Seed Improvement Association (OSIA) is the official seed certifying agency in Ohio. OSIA certifies agricultural, vegetable, or flower seed, tubers for seeding purposes, and plants for varietal identification or for other factors.
Applications for Seed Labeler permits are available here. Permits are valid through December 31 and are renewable each year with a $10 application fee. In addition, labelers are required to submit tonnage reports and inspection fees.
Feed & Seed Tonnage Reporting
Seed labelers are required to report the amount of seed sold in Ohio, twice per year. The first semiannual report is due before February 1 and should include sales made between July 1 - December 31. The second semiannual report is due before August 1 and should include sales made between January 1 - June 30.
Feed distributors or exempt buyers who pay the inspection fee are required to report the number of net tons of commercial feed distributed in Ohio. The reports are due within 30 days after June 30, and again within 30 days after December 31.
Tonnage Report Forms
All tonnage report forms are generated individually by our office and mailed out to all registrants. These reports are mailed out roughly a week after the six-months ending period (June 30th and December 31st of every year).
Since these tonnage reports are custom-made for each registrant, they are NOT available online. Businesses should not create their own forms from a previous filing period.
If a company has an address change, please inform our office before the reports are mailed out.
Legume Inoculant Registration
Legume inoculant products and pre-inoculated seeds are required to be registered before they can be sold or distributed in Ohio. Legume inoculants are either a pure or a mixed culture of rhizobium bacteria capable of inoculating legume plants. Pre-inoculated seeds refers to legume seeds which have received, prior to sale, an application of a legume inoculant.
An application, $50 fee per brand, and a copy of each product label must be submitted to our office for registration. These registrations expire annually on December 31. Please contact our office for the application form.
Each container of legume inoculant culture must have at least the following information:
- The name and address of the person responsible for the distribution of the legume inoculant;
- The name of the group or groups of plants for which the brand is represented to be effective;
- The name of the brand of the pure or mixed culture of legume inoculant and lot number;
- The rate at which the legume inoculant culture is to be applied;
- Date beyond which the legume inoculant is not claimed to be effective.
Each container of pre-inoculated seed must have at least the following information:
- The name and address of the person responsible for the distribution;
- The brand and lot number of the legume inoculant used to pre-inoculate the seed;
- Date beyond which the legume inoculant is not claimed to be effective.
Legume Inoculator's License
Legume inoculator licenses are required for each business where legume inoculants are applied for others or to a customer's order. Please contact our office for the application form. These licenses expire each year on January 31 and can be renewed for a $5 application fee.
The legume inoculator must keep records for at least 18 months that include complete data concerning the source and lot number of the inoculant material used, the rate and date of application, and the lot identity by owner and lot number, if any, of the seed to which the material was applied.
Seed Sample Testing
When mailing samples to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, please do the following:
- Fill a quart-size zip-lock or other sealable plastic bag with the seed to be tested; double bag the seed and tape the bags shut.
- Include your name, address, telephone number, variety of the seed, and lot number of the seed in each bag of seed sent for testing.
- Indicate what tests are to be run on the samples submitted.
- Mail the samples to:
Grain, Feed, & Seed Section
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main St, Bldg 23
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Billing for the tests will be made upon completion of the testing of the seed. The lab fee schedule can be viewed here.
Noxious Weed Seeds
"Prohibited noxious weeds" are weeds that reproduce by seed, spread by roots, underground stems, or other reproductive parts, and, when established, are highly destructive and difficult to control. These are different from "restricted noxious weeds", which are weeds that are objectionable in fields, lawns, or gardens, but that can be controlled by good cultural practices. Ohio law prohibits the sale of any agricultural, flower, or vegetable seed containing prohibited noxious-weed seeds. The sale of agricultural seed containing more than 0.25 percent by weight of restricted noxious-weed seeds or bulblets, or more than 2.5 percent of all weed seeds, is also prohibited.
Prohibited noxious-weed seeds
- Apple of Peru, Nicandra physalodes (L.) Scop.
- Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.
- Columbus grass, Sorghum almum Parodi
- Field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis L.
- Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum Sommier & Levier
- Hairy whitetop, Cardaria pubescens (C.A. Mey.) Jarmolenko
- Heart-podded hoary cress, Cardaria draba (L.) Desv.
- Hedge bindweed, Calystegia sepium (L.) R. Br. = Convolvulus sepium (L.)
- Johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.
- Kochia, Bassia scoparia (L.) A.J. Scott
- Leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula L.
- Musk thistle, Carduus nutans L.
- Palmer Amarantha, Amaranthus palmeri
- Perennial sowthistle, Sonchus arvensis L.
- Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria L.
- Quackgrass, Elytrigia repens (L.) Nevski = Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.
- Russian knapweed, Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. = Centaurea picris Pallas ex Willd
- Serrated tussock, Nassella trichotoma (Nees) Hack.
- Shattercane, Sorghum bicolor
- Waterhemp, Amaranthus tuberculatus
Restricted noxious weed seeds
- Buckhorn, Plantago lanceolata L.
- Corncockle, Agrostemma githago L.
- Curly dock, Rumex crispus L.
- Dodder, Cuscuta (L.) spp.
- Horsenettle, Solanum carolinense L.
- Oxeye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare Lam.
- Poison-hemlock, Conium maculatum L.
- Wild garlic, Allium vineale L.
- Wild mustard, Brassica arvensis (L.) Rabenh. & Brassica kaber (DC.) L.C. Wheeler
- Wild onion, Allium ascalonicum L.