INVESTIGATION REVEALS SEED CERTIFICATION FRAUD
Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bishop has ordered the sale of most certified Tifton No. 9 bahia grass seed stopped after an investigation revealed that several thousand pounds of the seed were not certified as advertised.
To date, 58,000 pounds of the seed were not certified as the seed bags indicated. Bishop ordered the sale of three lot numbers stopped last week. They were lot numbers SB90-102, SB90-103 and 00-101C.
Bishop ordered the sale of all but a few lot numbers of Tifton No. 9 bahia to be stopped after investigators discovered that most of the lot numbers being offered for sale were fraudulent.
Included in the stop-sale order are Tifton No. 9 bahia seed lots numbered SB90-106, SB90-107, SB90-108, SB90-109, 00-31,00-35,00-54, 00-56, 00-57, 00-59, 00-60, 00-61, 00-63, 00-65, 00-73, 00-76, 00-77, 00-78, 00-79, 00-80, and 00-81.
Certified Tifton No. 9 bahia grass seed usually sells for around $2.50 to $3 per pound. Other bahia grass seed bags, such as the Pensacola variety, generally sell for around $1 per pound.
Bishop said the investigation is continuing and it could expand to include all certified seed sold to Alabama farmers.
"There are definitely various types of seed being sold as certified seed when actually the seed is not certified," Bishop said. "This is an on-going investigation."
Bishop said the Tifton seed is normally sold in the lower two-thirds of the state, from around Birmingham to points south. The Tifton seed is expected to provide fuller grazing material with more protein for cattle.