Grain Crop Standards

Barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare), 
Oat (Avena sativa), 
Rye (Secale cereale subsp. cereale),
Triticale (Triticosecale), and
Wheat (Triticum aestivum and Triticum durum)

GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to grain. 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. 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 eight (8) weeks after planting. 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 crop during either of the two (2) previous years unless the grain was of the same variety planted for certification and met field inspection requirements for varietal purity; only one (1) year is required if the intervening crop was irrigated.


Fields need not be isolated from other grain but must have a definite boundary such as a fence, ditch, roadway, levee, or barren strip at least ten (10) feet wide.

Triticale, Barley,Common Wheat, and Durum Wheat

A field producing the Foundation class must be isolated by at least 65 feet from fields of any other variety of the same species. Registered and Certified classes need not be isolated from other grain but must have a definite boundary such as a fence, ditch, roadway, levee, or barren strip at least ten (10) feet wide.

A field producing any class of certified seed must be isolated by at least 660 feet from fields of any other variety or fields of the same variety that do not meet the varietal purity requirements of the class of seed inspected and are of the same chromosome number.

FIELD INSPECTION -- Each field intended for certification must be inspected prior to harvest. At least one inspection shall be made usually about the time the grain is maturing and, in some cases, earlier; later 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. When differences can be distinguished, the maximum mixture of other grain crops and other varieties permitted is as follows:

Foundation - 1:10,000
Registered - 1:10,000
Certified - 1:5,000

Diseases -- Barley stripe may not exceed five (5) plants per acre. Smut of any type is limited to five (5) plants per acre in Foundation and Registered fields, and thirty two (32) plants per acre in Certified fields. Seed treatment may be required in some cases.

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 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 1,000 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)

Bushel Weight 


- Barley

   45 pounds (Minimum)

- Oat

   32 pounds (Minimum)

- Rye, Triticale*, Wheat

   56 pounds (Minimum)

Other Crop Seed, Other Varieties, and Other Kinds**


- Barley, Rye, Triticale, Wheat - Foundation and Registered

  1 seed per pound  (Maximum)

- Barley, Rye, Triticale, Wheat - Certified   2 seeds per pound (Maximum)

- Oat Foundation

   1 seed per pound  (Maximum)

- Oat Registered and Certified

   2 seeds per pound  (Maximum)

Wild Oat


- Barley, Rye, Triticale, Wheat


- Oat

  1 seed per pound (Maximum)

Weed Seed

   0.10% (Maximum)

Noxious Weed Seed




- Barley, Oat, Rye, Triticale

 90% (Minimum)

- Wheat

  85% (Minimum)

*If a triticale variety has a mean bushel weight below 56, a variety-specific variance can be made so that the minimum test weight is no lower than 1 standard deviation below the variety mean.

**All wheat samples shall be visually assessed for kernels of contrasting color.

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 September 2022