Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky

Seed potato Inspector Program

Welcome to the Montana Department of Agriculture Seed Potato Inspection Program

The Montana Department of Agriculture is required to conduct shipping point inspections on all seed potatoes grown in Montana in accordance with Section 80-3-315, MCA of the Montana Produce Act. Tubers must meet the Montana Blue or Red Tag Grade at shipping to complete the certification process and be Montana Certified Seed Potatoes. 

Inspection Details

For the complete listing of the field inspection and disease requirements required to pass certification, contact the Montana Potato Lab at (406) 994-3150.

Shipping point inspection arrangements can be made by contacting the program specialist or the appropriate Agricultural Specialist in your area (click here). Please note that exporting seed potatoes out of the US may require further field, cellar, laboratory testing and shipping point inspections.

Grade inspection shipping point fees for potatoes are $0.095 per 100 pounds or a minimum of $50 for each inspection visit. Shipping of potatoes into Montana may be subject to quarantine requirements.

Can I order seed potatoes from garden catalogs or websites?

The answer is no. Montana is the leading producer of seed potatoes that are planted in the Columbia Basin for processing into French fries and other food products. The state's potatoes are prized because its growing areas are somewhat isolated from airborne spores of diseases such as late blight. To protect this industry, Montana requires businesses that sell seed potatoes in Montana have them inspected at the point of shipping and certified as disease-free. Businesses unwilling to take those steps are prohibited from shipping to Montana, including sellers of garden seed that could spread potato diseases.