Email Print Site Map
California Crop Improvement Association
California Crop Improvement Association
California Crop Improvement Association
University of California
California Crop Improvement Association

Watermelon

Return to Crop Standards page

GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to open-pollinated (OP) watermelons. For hybrid watermelon refer to hybrid watermelon standards. 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. Foundation seed of wilt resistant varieties planted for certification shall be tested for its wilt resistance.

APPLICATION -- Applications should be submitted electronically on CCIA’s website (Application to grow and certify seed) as soon as possible and no later than three (3) 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 the previous year unless the watermelons were of the same variety planted for certification and met the field inspection requirements.

ISOLATION -- To be eligible for certification a seed field must be isolated from fields of any other variety or strain, including citron plants, or all fields within the isolation distance must be the same variety and must be for certified seed production. Isolation may be established by isolation cages or by the following distances:

Foundation

Registered

Certified

2 miles

1 mile

1/2 mile

MANAGEMENT -- Fields designated for seed production shall have no fruits removed for marketing purposes.

FIELD INSPECTION -- Each field intended for certification must be inspected twice prior to harvest. The first inspection should be made from the 3rd leaf stage to flower and early set. The second and mature melon inspection should be made when the fruit has reached a good marketable condition. 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 plants or fruits permitted is as follows:

 
Foundation
Registered
Certified
Other Varieties
None
None
1:1,000
White Hard Fruits
1:1,000
1:500
1:500
Citron or Hard Rind
None
None
None

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.

Diseases -- Fields must be free of bacterial fruit blotch, BFB (Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli).

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.

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 containers of seed before they leave the field. 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 or Interstate Transfer 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 plant 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 the following sample sizes of watermelon seed to the laboratory for analysis: Foundation and Registered 900 grams, Certified 500 grams. (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.

A sample of each lot must be tested for BFB by an accredited Pathology Testing Laboratory or Facility. Prior to the issuance of a seed inspection report the results of a 30,000 - seedling growout (or 10% by seed count on lots smaller than 300,000 seeds) for BFB must be provided to the CCIA. The applicant is also responsible for maintaining a 35,000 PLS archive sample (or 10% by seed count) for the duration of the marketing of the seed lot.

Pure Seed
 
-
Foundation
N.S.
-
Registered
98.00% (Minimum)
-
Certified
98.00% (Minimum)
Inert Matter
 
-
Foundation
N.S.
-
Registered
2.0% (Maximum)
-
Certified
2.0% (Maximum)
Other Varieties - in some instances varietal identity cannot be determined by visual seed inspections.
-
Foundation
None allowed per two (2) pounds
-
Registered
0.10% (Maximum) - shall not exceed one (1) seed per two (2) pounds
-
Certified
0.50% (Maximum) - shall not exceed two (2) seeds per pound
Other Crop Seed
-
Foundation
None
-
Registered
0.10% (Maximum)
-
Certified
0.50% (Maximum)
Other Kinds
-
Foundation
None allowed per two (2) pounds
-
Registered
0.02% (Maximum) - shall not exceed one (1) seed per pound
-
Certified
0.05% (Maximum) - shall not exceed two (2) seeds per pound
Weed Seed
-
Foundation
N.S.
-
Registered
None
-
Certified
0.02% (Maximum)
Noxious Weed Seed
None
Watermelon Fruit Blotch
Acidovorax avenae subsp. citrulli
None
Germination
 
-
Foundation
N.S.
-
Registered
85.00% (Minimum)
-
Certified
85.00% (Minimum)

"N.S." -- No standards.

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 

The CCIA is a nonprofit corporation affiliated with the University of California. This website is hosted by:

Webmaster Email: meschlosser@ucdavis.edu