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California Crop Improvement Association
University of California
California Crop Improvement Association

Rice Seed Quality Assurance Program

Submit Application

The application is not available at this time.

Program Fee

Application fees:

  • QA1 - $3.50/acre
  • QA2 - $3.50/acre
  • QA3 - $2.50/acre
  • Field Inspection Only - $2.50/acre

The minimum application fee is $100.

Seed Certification fees are $.08/cwt.

Purpose

The California Crop Improvement Association (CCIA) Rice Seed Quality Assurance Program (Program) provides a uniform and unbiased quality control system and marketing tool for crop seeds that cannot be verified and merchandised as a class of certified seed as defined by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA).  The CCIA has adopted the following rules and standards in order to ensure the availability of quality seeds of rice that have been produced, harvested, conditioned, sampled, handled and labeled so as to preserve their essential genetic identity and consistency.

Objectives

  1. To provide coordinated, professional, unbiased field inspections and laboratory testing for quality control in seed production, conditioning and marketing.
  2. To provide an unbiased record system for use in meeting state and federal seed law requirements and to help solve potential problems with customers and seed suppliers.
  3. To provide a retail or wholesale marketing image of sound quality control assurance for selling seed products not using seed certification programs.
  4. To provide seed buyers with assurance that a designated seed product has met genetic purity standards related to a known description across lots and years of production and to facilitate product identification.

General Requirements

The minimum quality assurance standards described below must be met in order to participate in the Rice Seed Quality Assurance Program (Program). The Program shall cover planting stocks of rice produced, conditioned, sampled, and labeled in accordance with these standards.

Variety Eligibility Requirements

  1. Eligibility for participation in the QA program is determined by the CCIA.
  2. Any varieties, including Public varieties, eligible to be marketed as a class of certified seed are not eligible to be labeled under the QA Program.
  3. The following items must be made available by the applicant when eligibility for a Quality Assurance Program is requested:
  4. The name of the variety. This name must be the established name if the variety has previously been described and documented.
  5. A statement concerning the variety’s origin and development (if available) signed by the applicant.
  6. A detailed description of morphological, physiological, and other characteristics of the plants and seed that distinguish the variety from other varieties or varieties. Applicant should include a statement describing any expected variation of the variety.
  7. A statement delineating the geographic area or areas of adaptation of the variety.

Designated Classes of Seed

Classes of seed referenced in the Program are designated and defined by the CCIA as follows: 

  • Breeder Seed - is the original source of all subsequent classes. This seed is held, maintained, and controlled by the originating plant breeder, sponsoring plant breeder or institution, in such a way to maintain its genetic purity and identity. Breeder seed provides the direct source of Basic seed. The CCIA may verify that Breeder seed has been maintained according to the variety description
  • Basic Seed (QA-1) – the generation harvested from fields sown with Breeder seed or QA-1 seed, similar to Foundation seed in a conventional seed certification program.
  • QA-2 – the generation harvested from fields sown with QA-1 seed, similar to Registered seed in a conventional seed certification program.
  • QA-3 – the generation harvested from fields sown with QA-2 seed, similar to Certified seed in a conventional seed certification program.
  • Field Inspection Only - when changing rice varieties or changing from non-QA seed production to QA seed production, the field will be inspected to make it eligible for QA seed production in the following year.

Limitations of Generations for Seed

The number of generations through which a variety may be multiplied shall not exceed two generations beyond the Basic Seed (QA-1) seed class, with the following exceptions, which may be made with the permission of the CCIA:

  1. The production of an additional generation of the QA-3 class may be permitted on a one-year basis only when an emergency is declared by the CCIA stating that the QA-1 and QA-2 seed supplies are not adequate to plant the needed QA-3 acreage of the variety. The additional generation of QA-3 seed produced to meet the emergency need is ineligible for further reproduction in the Program.
  2. The production of an additional generation of the QA-3 class may be permitted for one harvest only when an emergency is declared by the CCIA stating that an unanticipated event occurred post-planting and expected production will be insufficient to meet expected demand. The additional generation of QA-3 seed produced to meet the emergency need is ineligible for further reproduction in the Program.

Quality Assurance (QA) Guidelines

In addition to compliance to all regulations pertaining to the production, conditioning, marketing and sale of seed in California, the following rules apply to the Rice Seed QA Program:

  1. Field Inspection Applications will be submitted to the CCIA identifying the field(s) to be inspected. Varieties must conform to the accepted description.
  2. Field inspection will be performed by the CCIA using the same field sampling system used for certified seed production. A minimum of 10,000 plants will be evaluated. General field conditions will be reported along with other information requested by the applicant.
  3. The genetic standards for QA production will be the genetic standards for the equivalent certified class of seed of the crop being inspected as published by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA).
  4. Planting equipment (including aircraft loaders, etc.) must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected prior to planting. An affidavit will be signed by the grower confirming the cleanout and inspection of such equipment.  Harvesters, conveyance devices, and storage equipment must be cleaned of other seed prior to harvest.
  5. After fields pass inspection, a field inspection report will be issued with a unique QA number assigned by the CCIA.  This number must accompany the seed lot thereafter.
  6. Seed conditioning facilities must be approved or accredited by the CCIA and inspected prior to conditioning seed.
  7. Individuals drawing representative seed samples must be accredited certified seed samplers.
  8. A representative seed sample from the cleaned lot will be submitted to an approved seed laboratory and tested for varietal purity, germination and physical purity by a Registered Seed Technologist in accordance with the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) rules for testing seed. The varietal purity standard shall be the AOSCA genetic standards for the equivalent certified class of seed of the crop being tested.  For non-colored bran varieties, a 500 gram sample of rice is hulled using a rice huller and the grains are inspected for the presence of red rice.
  9. QA certificates (seed inspection report) will be printed and issued by the CCIA for seed meeting the QA field and laboratory standards for genetic purity. The certificates will have printed on them the green QA logo (a registered trademark), the phrase “Quality Assurance”, and “Member of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies”. The QA certificate will be imprinted with kind, variety designation, and generation number (QA-1, QA-2, or QA-3). The certificate will also contain the lot number and the assigned QA number.
  10. The CCIA will issue QA seed transfer certificates and QA bulk sales certificates to each seed conditioner. These certificates will be completed when is transferred or sold in bulk.
  11. Approved conditioner guidelines shall be the same as for certified seed.

Land Requirements

Fields eligible for the Rice Seed QA Program must not have grown rice the previous year unless the rice was the same variety planted, within the Rice Seed QA Program, and met field inspection requirements for varietal purity and freedom from weedy rice.

Field Standards

Isolation -- Fields in the Rice Seed QA Program must be separated from another variety or non-quality assured seed of the same variety by a definite boundary or 10 feet if the adjoining field is ground drilled, 50 feet if ground broadcast, and 100 feet if aerial seeded.  NOTE: All fields must be clearly marked by red, or equally vivid, colored flags at least three (3) feet square. These flags must be placed at each corner of the field and at intervals of not more than 1/4 mile on each side of the field prior to planting and in any case before APRIL 15.

Field Inspection -- Each field in the Rice Seed QA Program must be inspected prior to harvest. At least one inspection shall be made for the QA-3 class about the time the grain is maturing and, in some cases, earlier and later inspections may be made. Two inspections will be performed for fields producing the QA-1 or QA-2 class.

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

QA-1 (Basic)

QA-2

QA-3

1:10,000

1:5000

1:1000

All fields producing non-colored bran varieties must be free of colored bran off-types.*

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. All fields must be free of weedy rice, the weedy types within the Oryza genus. (especially O. sativa).

Diseases -- Observed Rice Blast (Magnaporthe oryzae) will be noted on the field inspection report.

Fields may be rejected from the Rice Seed QA Program 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 QA 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 issued by the Commissioner.

CONDITIONING AND SAMPLING -- Conditioning of seed within the Rice Seed QA Program 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 Standards

All seed lots must be sampled and tested after conditioning and the seed lot must meet or exceed seed Rice Seed QA Program standards.  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 Rice Seed QA Program standards.

The conditioner is required to submit a 1000 gram sample to the laboratory for analysis.  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:

Quality Factor

Standards for Each Class

 

QA-1 (Basic)

QA-2

QA-3

 Pure Seed (minimum)

98.00%

98.00%

98.00%

 Inert matter (maximum)

2.00%

2.00%

2.00%

 Weed seeds (maximum)

0.05%

0.05%

0.10%

 Watergrass (Echinochloa spp.) (maximum)

10 seeds per pound

 Noxious weeds and weedy rice

None

None

None

 Total other crop seeds
(maximum)

0.05%

0.10%

0.21%

    - Other varieties (maximum)

0.05%

0.10%

0.20%

    - Colored bran seed in non-colored bran varieties**

None

None

None

    - Other kinds (maximum)

None

None

0.01%

 Germination (minimum)

80.00%

80.00%

80.00%

Red Rice Rubout: For non-colored bran varieties, a 500 gram sample of rice is hulled using a rice huller and the grains are inspected for the presence of red rice.

 

The CCIA requires Reports of Analysis for initial lot approval to be dated no more than a maximum of six (6) months prior to the request for lot approval in Rice Seed QA Program.  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 LOT APPROVAL AND LABELING -- If the seed sample meets all standards a seed inspection report is issued. Before approval is complete, however, each container must have an official tag or label attached. QA seed may be sold to a grower in bulk without tagging if a properly filled out Bulk Sale Certificate accompanies the shipment.

SUBSTANDARD SEED -- Substandard seed failing to meet crop seed standards may still be Quality Assured, at the request of the owner, by meeting the following conditions when re-cleaning or blending is not practical.

  1. Seed must be free of California prohibited or restricted noxious weed seed.
  2. For non-colored bran varieties, seed must be free of colored-bran rice.**
  3. The certification label (i.e. Bulk Sale Certificate) must include the statement - "Differs from seed quality standards due to [state difference here - germination, inert matter, common weeds, etc.]"

*If a non-colored bran variety has a described colored bran variant, the colored-bran variant must meet the morphological characteristics of the described variant.  Plants with colored bran seed that are visually verified to be variants will not be considered off-types.  Visual analysis may be confirmed via genetic testing.

**If a non-colored bran variety has a described colored bran variant, the colored bran kernels observed in the seed sample must be verified to be variants through comparison of genetic markers.  Colored bran seeds that are verified to be variants will not be considered off-types and will be allowed within the tolerance provided in the variety description.

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