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California Crop Improvement Association
University of California
California Crop Improvement Association

Cotton

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GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to cotton. For greater detail and additional provisions, see the General Standards.

PLANTING STOCK -- In most varieties Breeder seed must be planted to produce Foundation seed. Foundation seed must be planted to produce Registered seed. Registered seed must be planted to produce Certified seed. In varieties where there is no Registered class, Foundation seed must be planted to produce Certified seed.

APPLICATION -- Applications should be submitted electronically on CCIA’s website (Application to grow certified seed instructions) as soon as possible and no later than eight (8) weeks after planting.

FIELD ELIGIBILITY -- There shall be no cultivated cotton (Gossypium hirsutum or Gossypium barbadense) volunteers in the field. Fields that are producing cotton that will be shipped via OECD seed scheme must not have grown cotton as the previous crop unless the cotton was of the same variety planted for certification and met the field inspection requirements for varietal purity.  The previous crop history must be provided on the application.

ISOLATION -- Fields or portions of fields producing seed must be isolated the following distances:

Factor
Foundation
Registered
Certified
Between similar types of same species (1)
660’
660’
20’
Between dissimilar types of same species (2)
660’
660’
100’
Between different species (3)
1320’*
1320’*
660’*
*Add 20’ of buffer rows if there is a no   intervening cotton field
  1. Between similar types of same species: Varieties that are not differing considerably in their vegetative characteristics (including transgenic and non-transgenic varieties) are considered “similar types.”
  2. Between dissimilar types of same species: Okra leaf and non-okra leaf varieties or other varieties differing considerably in vegetative characteristics are considered “dissimilar types.”
  3. Between different species: Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense.

Colored cotton (naturally colored cotton and other cottons of differing lint color) shall be isolated from white cotton (as white is defined in the Official Cotton Standards of the United States for Color Grade of American Upland Cotton and American Pima) by a distance of at least 3 miles. Colored cotton shall be isolated from white cotton by a distance of at least 1 mile, provided there is an intervening field of cotton of at least 250 ft. (100 rows) wide covering the full length of the colored cotton field.

To separate Foundation, Registered, and Certified seed production, fields of the same variety or portions of a field not meeting isolation requirements, there must be a definite boundary such as a fence, ditch, roadway, levee, or barren strip at least equivalent to leaving out one (1) row of cotton.

Any cotton within the isolation distance must be positively identified as the same variety.

FIELD INSPECTION --  Each field intended for certification must be inspected prior to harvest. At least one inspection shall be made, preferably after some of the bolls have opened, in some cases earlier and later inspections may be made.

Off-Types -- Every field should be rogued to remove any plants of another crop or variety, including volunteers. Varieties cannot always be differentiated at field inspection. When differences can be distinguished, the maximum mixture of other varieties or definite off-types permitted is as follows:

Foundation

Registered

Certified

1:10,000

1:5,000

1:1,000

No cotton of different color is permitted in certified seed fields.

Weeds -- Fields must be free of cocklebur and any prohibited noxious weeds. Restricted noxious weeds and common weeds difficult to separate must be controlled. Prohibited and Restricted noxious weeds are listed in the California Seed Law/CA Code of Regulations/Sections 3854 and 3855. See California Seed Law - Prohibited and Restricted Noxious Weed List.

Fields may be refused certification due to unsatisfactory appearance caused by weeds, poor growth, poor stand, disease, insect damage, and any other condition which prevents accurate inspection or causes doubt as to the identity of the variety.

A field inspection report will be sent to the applicant. If the field is approved, a certification number will be assigned. This number must be on all trailers, modules and containers of seed cotton in the field, to the gin, and to the delinters. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure his field has been inspected before it is harvested.

HARVESTING -- Harvesting is subject to the supervision of the County Agricultural Commissioner who must be contacted prior to harvest. Any seed moved out of the county for conditioning must be accompanied by an Intercounty Permit issued by the Commissioner.

CONDITIONING AND SAMPLING -- Conditioning of seed for certification may be done only in gins, delinters, and conditioning facilities approved for this purpose by the California Crop Improvement Association. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine if the facility is eligible before delivering seed for conditioning. Ginning, delinting, conditioning, sampling, reconditioning, and blending must be supervised by the County Agricultural Commissioner. Conditioning equipment must be free from contaminating seed to the satisfaction of the supervising inspector.

SEED INSPECTION -- All seed must be sampled and tested after conditioning and the seed lot must meet or exceed seed certification standards for that crop. A seed lab using the Association of Official Seed Analyst “Rules for Testing” must test the sample. A Registered Seed Technologist must sign each lab analysis. In addition to AOSA rules, specific seed testing may be required to meet CCIA seed certification standards.

The conditioner is required to submit a 1,000 gram sample to the laboratory for analysis (Submitted Sample Sizes for Certification). In some instances, varietal identity cannot be determined by visual seed inspections. Seed must be well screened and graded, bright in color, of good appearance and meet the following standards:

Pure Seed
   99.00% (Minimum)
Inert Matter
   1.0% (Maximum)
Other Varieties
-
Foundation
   None
-
Registered
   None
-
Certified
   1 seed/pound (Maximum)
Other Crop Seed
    (No cotton of different color is permitted in seed)
-
Foundation
   None
-
Registered
   None
-
Certified
   1 seed/pound (Maximum)
Other Kinds 
   None
Weed Seed
   None
Noxious Weed Seed
   None
Germination
   80.00% (Minimum)

The CCIA requires Reports of Analysis for initial certification to be dated no more than a maximum of six (6) months prior to the request for seed certification. The ‘Purity Analysis’ and ‘Germination’ must be conducted on the same laboratory seed sample and those results must be presented in a single Report of Analysis.

FINAL CERTIFICATION AND TAGGING -- If the seed sample meets all standards a seed inspection report is issued. Before certification is complete, however, each container must have an official tag or label attached. Certified seed may be sold to a grower in bulk without tagging if a properly filled out Bulk Sale Certificate accompanies the shipment. The tags and Bulk Sale Certificates are issued by the California Crop Improvement Association to the County Agricultural Commissioner who supervises their attachment.

Updated November 2015 

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