Seed Notes October 2017

Scholarships Awarded

Kathleen NunezKathleen Nunez was the recipient for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  Kathleen is from San Francisco and is pursuing a degree in Plant Sciences. She is interested in  graduate studies in crop based agriculture, especially plant pathology.  She has a GPA of 3.5 and has completed two internships with the USDA National Resource Conservation Service.


Elizabeth Doody

The UC Davis recipient was Elisabeth Doody. Elisabeth is from Ventura and has completed her sophomore year working toward a BS in Plant Sciences with a minor in Technology Management. She has made the Dean’s List multiple time and is involved in several campus organizations. She has worked in the ag industry for five years – as a herb manager, maintained a nationally registered dairy goat breeding and show program, and is currently an intern at Andrew & Williamson Produce, managing their strawberry variety trial.


Nancy ArmentaNancy Armenta received the scholarship at Fresno State University. Nancy is a senior in the Plant Science Department. She was raised in King City, a small town in the Salinas Valley. She is currently interning for two lettuce breeders at Mission Ranches Seed Division in San Juan Bautista, CA. During this internship she has become increasingly interested in lettuce breeding. Working alongside the two breeders Nancy has gained hands-on breeding experience. Her career goal is to obtain further knowledge and experience in breeding for Downy Mildew resistance.

CCIA Joins the Seed Innovation Protection Alliance

The CCIA recently joined the Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance (SIPA) as an institutional member.SIPA logo

SIPA was formed after the membership of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recognized the need for a concerted, industry-wide effort to champion the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection. They formed SIPA to create a unified and consistent voice for education and best practices around intellectual property protection and its value to our society.

SIPA is solely focused on intellectual property issues in the seed industry. Its diverse membership represents organizations of all sizes and crop segments, including professionals who specialize in intellectual property rights. More information is available at the SIPA web site

Research Awards for 2017-2018

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

$33,592 - Dr. Dan Putnam “Alfalfa experimental variety and germplasm adaptation and evaluation”
$32,712 - Dr. Charles Brummer “Developing new alfalfa cultivars for California”

$250,000 - California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association for research of their choice

Small Grains
$76,000 - Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky “Development of wheat varieties for California”
$54,000 - Dr. Mark Lundy “Evaluation of small grains in California”
$18,444 - Dr. Alicia del Blanco “Breeding malting barley for California”
$10,000 - Dr. Alicia del Blanco “Oat improvement for California”
$8,444 - Dr. Lynn Gallagher and Dr. Cal Qualset “Barley and Oat Breeding”

Rice Quality Assurance Program Launched

The CCIA is now offering a Rice Quality Assurance Program that was created in collaboration with the California Rice industry to combat the spread of Weedy Red Rice.  The CCIA Rice Quality Assurance Program was sent to the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) for review earlier this year and was approved.  Producers and sellers of non-certifiable rice varieties began submitting applications this season and the program has been well received.For more details please visit the Rice Quality Assurance Program web page.

Industrial Hemp Seed Certification

Interest is growing nationally in producing seed of Industrial Hemp.  Industrial Hemp differs from medical marijuana in that it contains a much lower level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychotropic cannabinoid component of cannabis).  Industrial hemp can be used for many purposes.  Its seeds and flowers can be used in health foods, organic body care products, and other nutraceuticals.  Its fiber can be used in the manufacture of many products including paper, textiles, and cordage.

Alex in hemp field
Alex in hemp field

Alex Mkandawire has taken the lead within the CCIA to implement an Industrial Hemp seed certification program in California.  Alex was recently named as a member of the CDFA’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Board.  We anticipate that it may be possible to begin certification of Industrial Hemp seed in California in 2018. 

The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act (Division 24, Sections 81000-81010, of the California Food and Agriculture Code) was signed by Governor Brown on September 27, 2013.  The law was not operative until the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (Prop. 64, November 2016) made the Division effective on January 1, 2017.  Under the Food and Agricultural Code (FAC Division 24 Section 11018.5) an Industrial Hemp Advisory Board was established.  The Board has recommended that all planting stock of Industrial Hemp should be Certified seed.  Seed production will require registration with the County Agricultural Commissioner and there will be reporting requirements for the Attorney General and the Board.  The board will also require use of approved cultivars for commercial cultivation.  The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) will soon have an Industrial Hemp Variety Review Board and it has developed an Industrial Hemp Crop Standard that sets restrictions for planting, testing requirements, and destruction of plants that contain 0.3% THC or greater.  Members of established agricultural research institutions should be exempt from most requirements in the Division.

The California Industrial Hemp Program is managed by the CDFA Nursery, Seed, and Cotton Program.

Program general inbox:

Program home page:

Pablo Guzman
Pablo Guzman

Staff Retirement

Pablo Guzman has retired after nineteen years working with the CCIA. Pablo was responsible for potatoes and many of the smaller acreage crops like asparagus, beans, sudangrass, and clover. In his retirement he plans to continue working with international agricultural groups.

Alex Mkandawire is now responsible for potatoes and small acreage crops. You may contact Alex at 520-752-6868 or

2017 Acreage Report

Acreage report by crop (pdf) – as seen below

acreage report

Acreage report by county (pdf)

Past Acreage Reports are available on the Application Information page.