Celery Crop Standards

(Apium graveolens var. dulce)

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

PLANTING STOCK -- In most varieties Breeder seed must be planted to produce Foundation seed, Foundation seed must be planted to produce Registered seed, and Registered seed must be planted to produce Certified seed. In varieties where there is no Registered class, Foundation seed must be planted to produce Certified seed.

APPLICATION -- Applications should be submitted electronically on CCIA’s website (Application to grow and certify seed) as soon as possible and no later than one (1) week after planting in the greenhouse. New applicants should contact the CCIA office for instructions on obtaining access to the online application system.

FIELD ELIGIBILITY -- The land must not have grown the same species of crop for the previous three (3) years. NOTE: Sprinkler irrigation of celery in the field will only be allowed for stand establishment after transplanting.

ISOLATION -- All seed production must be isolated from other celery fields, including fresh market, by at least one (1) mile or by providing caged isolation.

FIELD INSPECTION -- Each field intended for certification must be inspected prior to harvest. At least two (2) inspections shall be made, the first in the greenhouse and the second after transplanting in the field, in some cases additional inspections may be made.

Off-Types -- Every field should be rogued to remove any plants of another crop or variety. Varieties cannot always be differentiated at field inspection, but when differences can be distinguished, the maximum mixture of other varieties, distinct off-types, or inseparable other crops in all classes is none.

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.

Diseases -- Fields for certification must be rogued for and/or appropriate measures used to control major seed borne diseases, such as:

  • celery early blight (Cercospora apii.)
  • celery late blight (Septoria apiicola)
  • bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv. apii.)

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 Permit or Interstate Transfer 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 25 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

   99.00% (Minimum)

 Inert Matter

   1.00% (Maximum)

 Other Crop Seed


 Other Varieties


 Weed Seed

   0.01% (Maximum)

 Noxious Weed Seed



   80.00% (Minimum)

 Septoria apiicola and Pseudomonas syringae pv. apii

   None allowed

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.

POST-HARVEST GROWOUT -- Applicants must provide a post-harvest growout for all foundation seed production of wilt resistant varieties. All growouts shall be conducted on highly wilt-infected ground and compared with a susceptible check variety.

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. The tags are issued by the California Crop Improvement Association.

Updated November 2019