Seed Notes August 2010

Application numbers required for seed certification requests

The online seed certification system became functional almost one year ago in October 2010. The process is easy and accessible 24/7. In many instances the request for certification is processed within hours of submission and the Seed Inspection Form is immediately available.

When beginning the online request, the certification number is entered and the system provides a dropdown box listing all application numbers which produced seed matching the unique certification number. During this first year of operation, it has been optional to select the application(s) numbers which produced the seed in the lot being certified. Beginning October 1, 2011 the application number(s) will be required. This information is important in order for the CCIA to be able to track seed from the field to the bag. In large lots, seed harvested from several different fields with the same certification number may be combined. If a problem arises the CCIA must be able to identify the fields which provided the seed.

If you have any questions/concerns regarding certification requests or tags please contact Nicole Hostert at at 530- 752-9823 or Claudine Clark, who has processed the seed certification requests the past few years, will be applying her expertise in the Seed Lab Recognition Program.

Online tag request form

An online tag request form is available at the CCIA web site on the “Forms” page. Simply enter all the information in the boxes and submit to the CCIA. An receipt email will be sent to you with the information you provided. There are separate forms for certified seed, certified potato, and OECD tags.


district mapDistrict Directors are elected to serve for 4 years. In order for elections to be staggered, even and odd numbered district elections are held every 2 years. You must be a member of the CCIA in order to vote or serve as a director. See the CCIA web site for membership information.  Per the CCIA bylaws, the president of the board shall appoint a nominating committee to submit nominations. Members will then be notified of the nominations and be given the opportunity to submit additional nominations. If you live in one of the districts listed below you will be receiving a postcard later this year with nomination information and then a postcard ballot in February. The following CCIA Director seats will be elected in February 2011.

District I - Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego

District III - Fresno, Madera, Mono

District V - Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tuolomne

District VII - Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Mendocino, Plumas, Tehama

Current directors and a map of districts are available at the CCIA website.  


Bob Stewart new AOSCA president

Knox to Stewart

The CCIA is proud to announce that Bob Stewart has been selected to serve as President of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) for the next year. Bob has served on the AOSCA board of directors for a number of years and was in the position of Vice-President last year. Established in 1919 as the International Crop Improvement Association, AOSCA now has a number of international member countries located in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. These member agencies provide seed certification and a wide range of specialized third-party services. In the photo, Bob Stewart presents the outgoing AOSCA president, Steve Knox, with a gavel plaque.

Seed lab recognition program

An important aspect of certification is maintaining complete identification records of seed as it moves from the conditioner to seed laboratories for analysis. Important identifiers such as variety, certification number, class, etc. have been incorporated into the online request for certification. Information entered is stored in the request and need not be re-entered when later submitting the laboratory report of analysis. We recommend that conditioners request certification and receive a Seed Identification Number (SID) prior to requesting lab analysis. By doing this, the Sample Form can then be printed and included with the seed sample sent to the lab. Inclusion of the Sample Form notifies the lab that this is a certified seed sample and additional tests may be required. This assures that the proper tests are run by the laboratory. The Seed Lab Recognition Program has been initiated and the CCIA has been requesting reference seed samples from conditioners and labs that represent 10% of the lots certified. This program verifies consistency and uniformity among reporting laboratories.

Harvester cleanout and inspections

wheat harvesterThe time and effort put into growing a quality certified seed field can be lost by failure to properly clean out the combine prior to harvest. Harvesting is subject to the supervision of the local Agricultural Commissioner, who must be notified by the seed company or grower prior to harvest. It is the joint responsibility of the applicant and grower to see that harvesters and all other equipment are clean and inspected prior to harvest. The Agricultural Commissioner and grower should refer to the Field Inspection Report and comply with any special instructions about a particular field before allowing the harvest to proceed. The purpose of inspecting a harvester and conveyances is to ensure that they are free of those seeds which might contaminate the certified seed to be harvested. The degree of cleanup required will depend upon the crop previously run through the harvester. If, however, the harvester is going from one variety of alfalfa to another variety of alfalfa, or from seed of similar size and shape, such as wheat into safflower, a thorough cleanup is required. It is not necessarily critical to remove every seed from the harvester in all cases. If Foundation or Registered classes are being harvested, the equipment must be thoroughly cleaned so that not more than an occasional seed can be found. If the Certified class is to be harvested, the equipment should be swept off or blown off with air and run empty after opening all boots, augers, bins, and any other area where a handful of seed can accumulate. This is a realistic approach that does not jeopardize the reputation of certified seed.

Staff Focus on Bob Stewart

Bob StewartRobert Stewart received a B.S. degree in Ag Business/Plant Sciences from CSU Fresno. After graduation he worked for 5 years in the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s office in all inspection and regulatory duties, which included seed certification responsibilities. In this capacity he met Burt Ray of the CCIA and joined him in the inspection of the various seed crops being grown in the Salinas Valley. In November of 1976 he was hired by the CCIA as Manager of Field Services. At this time there were approximately 125,000 acres of certified seed and the CCIA staff consisted of Manager Burt Ray, Administrative Manager Bob Ball, 2 secretaries, and seed lab personnel. Bob took instruction and earned his pilot license during his first year on the job and flew the yellow CCIA airplane for many years, providing transportation for inspections, field days, and meetings. He provides the CCIA with knowledge in all areas of certification and is a valuable asset to the association. His participation at the national level with AOSCA keeps California current and on the cutting edge of seed certification activities. Bob has two adult daughters and two grandchildren that all live in the nearby area. He enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, and kayaking. He keeps his pilot license active and continues to enjoy flying.