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California Crop Improvement Association
University of California
California Crop Improvement Association

Flax

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GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to flax. 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, and 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 and certify seed) as soon as possible and no later than eight (8) weeks after planting. New applicants should contact the CCIA office for instructions on obtaining access to the online application system.

FIELD ELIGIBILITY -- The land must not have grown the same crop during either of the two previous years unless the flax was of the same variety planted for certification and met the field inspection requirements for varietal purity.

ISOLATION -- Fields or portions of fields intended for certification must have a definite boundary such as a fence, ditch, roadway, levee, or barren strip at least ten (10) feet wide.

FIELD INSPECTION -- -- Each field intended for certification must be inspected prior to harvest. At least one (1) inspection shall be made when flax is in full bloom.

Off-types -- Every field should be rogued to remove any plants of another crop or variety. Excess volunteer plants may be cause for rejection or reclassification of a seed field. Varieties cannot always be differentiated at field inspection. When differences can be distinguished, the maximum mixture of other varieties, established volunteers, and inseparable other crops permitted are as follows:

Foundation Registered Certified
1:5,000 1:3,000 1:1,000

Weeds -- Fields must be free of 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 creates doubt as to identity of the variety.

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

CONDITIONING AND SAMPLING -- Conditioning of seed for certification may be done only in 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. 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 450 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
 
-
Foundation
99.00% (Minimum)
-
Registered
99.00% (Minimum)
-
Certified
98.00% (Minimum)
Inert Matter
 
-
Foundation
1.00% (Maximum)
-
Registered
1.00% (Maximum)
-
Certified
2.00% (Maximum)
Other Varieties
-
Foundation
0.05% (Maximum)
-
Registered
0.05% (Maximum)
-
Certified
0.10% (Maximum)
Other Kinds
 
-
Foundation
8 seeds per pound (Maximum)
-
Registered
8 seeds per pound (Maximum)
-
Certified
9 seeds per pound (Maximum)
Weed Seed
 
-
Foundation
0.05% (Maximum)
-
Registered
0.05% (Maximum)
-
Certified
0.10% (Maximum)
Noxious Weed Seed
None
Germination & Hard Seed
85.00% (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.

Updated November 2015 

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