The purpose of seed certification is to preserve genetic purity and varietal identity. It is an official AOSCA-agency program enabling seed companies to market genetically pure seed. Certification services are available for field crops, turf grasses, vegetables, fruits, vegetatively propagated species, woody plants and forbs. Once seed has been certified, it qualifies for the official "blue" certified seed tag and meets state, federal and international seed law requirements.
Requirements for producing certified seed include special land requirements, planting eligible stock, field inspections, proper seed labeling and meeting standards based on complete lab analysis.
Four seed classes:
Breeder seed - seed directly controlled by the originating or
sponsoring plant breeding organization.
Foundation seed - the progeny of Breeder or Foundation
seed handled to maintain specific genetic purity and varietal identity.
Registered seed - the progeny of Breeder or Foundation
seed handled to maintain satisfactory genetic purity and varietal
Certified seed - the progeny of Breeder, Foundation or
Registered seed handled to maintain satisfactory genetic
purity and varietal identity.
The program provides:
Coordinated, professional and unbiased field inspections and laboratory testing. Many agencies may provide approval of conditioning plants.
An unbiased record system for use in meeting state, federal
and international seed law requirements.
Seed buyers with assurance that the designated seed has
met purity standards related to a known description across
seed lots and years of production.