USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to revise the Federal Seed Act (FSA) regulations. These updates are periodically needed in order to maintain consistency with other federal and state agencies, as well as changes in industry practice.

"Ultimately, the harmonizing of state and federal testing procedures reduces the burden on small entities shipping seed in interstate commerce by allowing the same test to meet regulatory requirements for inter- and intra-state shipments," said Dr. Richard Payne, AMS Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch Chief.

The changes to the FSA regulations would:

• update the nomenclature of some agricultural and vegetable seeds listed per current usages on the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

• amend the list of prohibited noxious-weed seeds.

• update the seed testing regulations to reflect improvements in seed testing technology and methods.

• update the noxious-weed seed tolerances; update the seed certification regulations.

• clarify the labeling requirements for seed treated with the most toxic class of chemical compounds.

The proposed rule will be published in the Dec. 17, 2010, Federal Register. Comments must be received by Feb. 15, 2011 to be considered.

Comments may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov or sent to Dr. Richard C. Payne, Chief, Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C, Gastonia, NC 28054-2193 by mail or by fax to (704) 852-4109. All comments should reference Docket No. AMS-LS-08-0002, the date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register.

Additionally, a public hearing will be held Jan. 21, 2010, at 10 a.m. in Room 68 at the Seed Regulatory and Testing Branch, Livestock and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C, Gastonia, NC 28054-2193.