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 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.
The program also certifies Commodity Testers, who provide and/or apply quality tests on agricultural commodities. These Testers must pass a written exam, administered by ODA, before applying for certification.
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||12/31/2021|
|Ron Burns||Farmer/producer of agricultural commodities||12/31/2022|
|Jack Groselle||Farmer/producer of agricultural commodities||12/31/2022|
|George Secor||Manager of a Farmer Cooperative (Sunrise Cooperative)||12/31/2022|
|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)||12/31/2022|
|Kent Kramer||Officer of a rural bank (The Richwood Banking Company)||12/31/2021|
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.
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|
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
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.
Manufacturers or distributors of any type of legume inoculant or pre-inoculated seeds must register the brand of the legume inoculant with the department.
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.
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
- Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.
- Columbus grass, Sorghum x almum parodi
- Field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis (L.)
- Forage Kochia, Bassia prostrata
- Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum (Somer & Levier)
- Hairy whitetop or ballcress, Lepidium appelianum (C. Meyer) Jarmol
- Heart-podded hoary cress, Lepidium draba sub. draba (L.) Desv.
- Hedge bindweed, Calystegia sepium (L.) R. Br. = Convolvulus sepium (L.)
- Johnsongrass, Sorghum halpense (L.) Pers.
- Kochia, Bassia scoparia
- 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) Hackel ex Arechav.
- Shattercane, Sorghum bicolor
Restricted noxious weed seeds
- Buckhorn, Plantago lanceolata (L.)
- Corncockle, Agrostemma githago (L.)
- Curly dock, Rumex crispus (L.)
- Dodder, Cuscuta (L.) spp.
- French weed, Thlaspi arvense (L.)
- Horsenettle, Solanum carolinnese (L.)
- Oxeye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare lam
- Poison-hemlock, Conium maculatum (L.)
- Wild garlic, Allium vineale (L.)
- Wild mustard, Brassica arvensis (L.) rabenh. & Brassica kaber (D.C.) L.C. wheeler
- Wild onion, Allium canadense (L.)