Bermudagrass Crop Standards

(Cynodon dactylon)

GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to Bermudagrass. For greater detail and additional provisions, see the General Standards.

PLANTING STOCK -- In most varieties Breeder seed must be planted to produce Foundation seed and Foundation seed must be planted to produce Certified seed. There is no Registered bermudagrass seed production in California.

APPLICATION -- Applications should be submitted electronically on CCIA’s website (Application to grow and certify seed) as soon as possible and no later than eight (8) weeks after planting. New applicants should contact the CCIA office for instructions on obtaining access to the online application system. Applications for perennial crops must be renewed annually and these will be offered on the CCIA website after January 1. These applications should be submitted electronically no later than February 15. A choice of ‘Renew’ means the production field will be used for seed in the current crop season. A ‘No Crop’ renewal application is chosen if a seed crop will not be produced in the current crop season but the field will remain in the certification program for future seed production. A ‘Canceled’ renewal application is chosen if the field will not be used for seed production and will be removed from the certification program.

FIELD ELIGIBILITY -- Fields eligible for the production of Foundation seed must not have grown or been seeded to the same species during the previous five (5) years and must have included a cultivated crop for three (3) years. Fields eligible for the production of Certified seed must not have grown or been seeded to the same species during the previous three (3) years and must have included a cultivated crop for two (2) years unless the crop was the same variety and passed field inspection for certification. All fields or portions of fields intended for certification must have a definite boundary such as a fence, ditch, roadway, levee, or barren strip at least ten (10) feet wide.

ISOLATION -- Fields or portions of fields for certification must be isolated from bermudagrass other than the same variety as follows: The isolation for Foundation Seed production shall be 900 feet. Isolation requirements for the Certified class are based on the size of the Certified field and the percentage of the field within 165 feet of another variety of bermudagrass. If ten percent (10%) or less of the Certified field is within the 165-foot isolation zone, no isolation is required--only a definite separation. If more than ten percent (10%) of the field is within the isolation zone that part of the field must not be harvested as Certified seed.

The isolation strip may contain bermudagrass, but if so, it must be the same variety planted with seed eligible to produce certified seed. The strip may be mowed for hay or produce uncertified seed. All isolation strips must have a definite, clearly visible boundary setting off that portion.

FIELD INSPECTION -- Each field intended for certification must be inspected prior to harvest. At least one inspection shall be made preferably during the mid-bloom stage and, 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 other varieties, established volunteers, and inseparable other crops permitted is as follows:

Foundation  None
Certified  0.3% by area

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

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 or Interstate Permit 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 a 60 gram sample to the laboratory for analysis. (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:

  Pure Seed

   97.00% (Minimum)

  Inert Matter

   3.00% (Maximum)

  Other Crop Seed and Other Varieties


- Foundation

    0.01% (Maximum)

- Certified

    0.25% (Maximum)

  Weed Seed


- Foundation

     0.01% (Maximum)

- Certified

     0.05% (Maximum)

  Noxious Weed Seed



    85.00% (Minimum)

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.

Updated November 2019