Rice Crop Standards

(Oryza sativa)

GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to rice. 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. NOTE: Growers must inspect all planting equipment including aircraft, loaders, etc. prior to planting. A statement that this inspection was completed must accompany the application. Use the CCIA - Rice Seed Statement (pdf).

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 -- Fields for certification must not have grown rice the previous year unless the rice was the same variety planted for certification and met field inspection requirements for varietal purity. Fields transitioning from commercial production or from certified production of a different variety must be applied for as “Field Inspection Only” to make a field eligible for seed production of that variety in the following year. “Field Inspection Only” fields must be planted with Foundation or Registered seed and meet field inspection requirements for the Certified class.

ISOLATION -- Fields for certification must be clearly separated from other fields by a ditch, levee, roadway, fence, or barren strip at least ten (10) feet wide if the adjoining fields are the same variety of similar purity. If another variety is seeded by plane parallel to the edge of the field being certified, at least 100 feet should separate the two (2) varieties; if seeded by plane at right angles to the edge, at least 1/4 mile should separate them. NOTE: All fields must be clearly marked by red, or equally vivid, colored flags at least three (3) feet square. These flags must be placed at each corner of the field and at intervals of not more than 1/4 mile on each side of the field prior to planting and in any case before APRIL 15.

FIELD INSPECTION -- Each field intended for certification must be inspected prior to harvest. At least one inspection shall be made for the certified class about the time the grain is maturing and, in some cases, earlier and later inspections may be made. Two inspections will be performed for fields producing the Foundation or Registered class.

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 varieties permitted is as follows:

Foundation - 1:50,000
Registered - 1:10,000
Certified - 1:5,000

All fields producing non-colored bran varieties must be free of colored bran rice.

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. All fields must be free of weedy/red rice, the weedy red grain type of Oryza sativa.

Diseases -- Observed Rice Blast (Magnaporthe oryzae) will be noted on the field inspection report. Fields or portions of fields with high rice Blast infestations will be rejected.

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

   44 pounds (Minimum)

Other Crop Seed and Other Varieties


- Foundation

   1 seed per pound  (Maximum)

- Registered

   2 seeds per pound  (Maximum)

- Certified

   4 seeds per pound  (Maximum)

Colored bran seed in non-colored bran varieties


- All classses


Weed Seed


- Foundation

   0.05%  (Maximum)

- Registered

   0.05%  (Maximum)

- Certified

   0.10%  (Maximum)

Echinochloa spp.*

   10 seeds per pound (Maximum)

Weedy/Red Rice 


Noxious Weed Seed



   85% (Minimum)

Red Rice Rubout: A 500 gram sample of rice is hulled using a rice huller and   the grains are inspected for the presence of red rice.

*including, but not limited to Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyardgrass), Echinochloa oryzoides (early watergrass), Echinochloa phyllopogon (late watergrass)

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