Seed Notes October 2021

New CCIA Executive Director

Lauren Port
Lauren Port

John Palmer will soon be retiring after serving as CCIA Executive Director since January 2015. We are pleased to announce that Lauren Port will be the incoming Executive Director beginning in November 2021.

Lauren was born and raised in western Washington. She holds a BS in Agricultural and Food Systems from Washington State University. She graduated magna cum laude in December 2010 with a double major in Organic Agriculture and Plant and Soil Systems. She continued her education to receive a MS in Crop Science at the same university in May 2016. Her thesis research centered on tall cereal varieties harvested with a stripper header and managed with chemical fallow in order to increase crop residue in a traditionally wheat-fallow system.

     Since November of 2015 Lauren has been with the Washington State Crop Improvement Association serving as Certification & Field Services Manager 2015-2018, and Manager 2019-present. From April 2012 to the present she has also been the Cropping Systems Team Coordinator for regional approaches to climate change at Washington State University.

New Foundation Seed Program Executive Director

Timothy Blank
Timothy Blank

John Palmer has also served as the Executive Director of the UC Davis Foundation Seed Program. With his upcoming retirement the position has been filled by Timothy Blank. He is performing this new role concurrently with his current position as a CCIA Field Representative.  The transfer of responsibilities began in July 2021.  Please join us in welcoming Timothy to the Foundation Seed Program!

District Elections

Elections for Directors representing Districts I, III, and V will be held in November-December 2021. The ballots will be mailed to voting members in early November. The elected Directors will be seated at the February 2022 Board meeting.

Annual Acreage Report (available as a pdf)

2017-2021 acreage report

View past acreage reports

LacTracker Program


John Palmer has submitted the fifth revision of LacTracker to AOSCA for review and approval following the California Seed Association meeting in Monterey.

A LacTracker Tag has been created and 2,500 adhesive tags have been ordered. Nicole Hostert has inspected two lettuce seed production fields as the pilot program gets underway.


Research Awards

Research fees are collected on several crops and the funds collected are awarded each year for research projects to improve these crops. Research grants were awarded at the June Board of Directors meeting as follows:


$33,490 – Dr. Dan Putnam “Alfalfa Variety and Germplasm Adaptation and Evaluation”

$10,616 – Dr. Charles Brummer “Developing New Alfalfa Cultivars for California”


The bean research account has a balance of $10,842. Since no bean research grants were submitted, the funds will rollover into next year.


$69,457 - California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association for research of their choice.

Small Grains

$71,000 - Jorge Dubcovsky: “Development of Wheat Varieties for California”

$68,000 - Mark Lundy: “Evaluation of Small Grains in California”

$8,000 - Isabel Alicia del Blanco: "Oat Improvement for California"

$15,000 - Isabel Alicia del Blanco: “Breeding Malting Barley for California”

$8,000 - Joshua Hegarty: “Development of Awnless Triticale Varieties for California”

2021 Rice Season – Timothy Blank



Due to the drought, rice acres in California saw a substantial decline to a total of ~405,000 acres, a 21% decline from 2020 and the smallest since 1992.  The seed program saw a 9% decline, falling from all time highs in 2019 (30,663 acres) and 2020 (30,655 acres), to 27,989 acres applied in 2021.  Excluding ‘Field Inspection Only’ (fields transitioning varieties) and rejected acres, 24,559 acres were approved for seed in 2021.  M-206 remains the #1 Calrose variety in terms of acres applied, constituting 30% of the acres applied.  The five varieties that constitute the Calrose brand make up 79% of the total rice seed acres applied.  These five Calrose varieties and their acres applied are M-206 (8,483), M-209 (5,447), M-105 (3,094), M-211 (2,827), and M-210 (2,338).

Activity Report:

On 7/28, Timothy Blank attended the ROXY RPS® Innovation Field Day, which was well attended by rice seed producers.  ROXY rice is resistant to the herbicide oxyfluorfen, and full registration is expected in 2023.  The first Foundation class seed fields were produced in 2021.

The training of two new inspectors took place on 8/5, and rice inspections commenced on 8/9 with a total of 4 rice inspectors.  Early inspection of fields in the QA program were prioritized due to higher lodging potential and these received their first inspection by 8/17.  Scouting fields for presence of red rice was emphasized and inspectors’ eyes were trained in commercial fields known to have red rice.  A total of 939 acres were rejected due to presence of red rice.  Fewer than 200 red rice plants were observed across 10 applications, and biotypes observed were Types 1, 2, 5, 6, & 7.  Below is table showing a breakdown of red rice (RR) observations by inspection program (Certified seed and Quality Assurance).


Applied acres (includes ‘Inspection Only’)

Approved acres

Rejected w/ Red Rice

% Rejected of Applied acres

# Apps

# Apps w/ Red Rice

% of Apps w/ Red Rice

























As in the past, Timothy Blank inspected all the Quality Assurance production due to the intricacies of the varieties and the program.  Inspections in the certification program were divided by region among the four inspectors.  The Rice Field Day on 8/25 was well attended.  Inspections were completed in late September.

Rice is the #2 crop in the CCIA program by acreage and the least fluctuating crop over the years.  Nearly 100% of the rice planted in California has passed through the CCIA, and we remain committed to providing the rice industry with exemplary service.

CCIA Scholarships Awarded

Shubham Malani
Shubham Malani

Shubham Malani is an International junior student at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in Plant Science.  He will graduate in spring 2022. Shubham recently received Cal Poly’s college “Student of the Year” award!  He is thankful for this $2,500 scholarship award as it will help pay tuition fees. After graduation, he would like to study for a master’s in plant science, specifically in plant breeding and genetics. His main goal for life is to create some plant varieties which will help to reduce world hunger and improve the agriculture system.

Shubham comes from Ahmedabad, India, a big city, but has had connections to agriculture as he was growing up. He remembers visiting his grandparents who were farmers in a small village and his father has a seed company in India. These were not the only reasons he wanted to study plant science, but they did play a big part in his life. They have inspired him to achieve his goals. He works at CPP Greenhouse and nursery, which provides him with good experience and knowledge in actual fieldwork. This job also has taught him many different things about business, marketing, online website, propagation, and transplanting. These skills can be beneficial for his future studies and research.

Kevin Keenan
Kevin Keenan

Kevin Keenan was awarded the scholarship representing Chico State. Kevin was born in Napa, but raised in Woodland, California, in a family with four children. He is not from an agricultural background, but at Woodland High School his oldest sister Shelby, joined the Future Farmers of America and her experience exposed him to this excellent program. Kevin also joined FFA when he entered high school. He was an active member of his chapter for all four of years. He participated in “Career Development Event” competitions in the categories of Agronomy and Agricultural Pest Control. These experiences inspired him to gain more knowledge in hopes of being a Pest Control Advisor and so he made the decision to study at Chico State. He has completed his junior year at Chico State as a Plant Science major and is on track to graduate in Spring 2022. He is enjoying his Chico experience and has found a home in the College of Agriculture as well as the Crops and Horticultural Club. He hopes to accomplish getting his bachelor's degree in Crop and Horticulture Science while maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA throughout his college career. He plans on becoming a PCA and has interned at Wilbur-Ellis in Woodland, where he worked a seasonal field scout.

Kevin is very grateful for the $2,500 CCIA scholarship.  The award has helped with the financial burden of funding his education since his family has been unable to help.