Turfgrass Crop Standards

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

PLANTING STOCK -- Definition of terms:

  • Foundation Turf – shall be the increase of Breeder sprigs or upon approval in certain cases the increase of Foundation sprigs or seed.
  • Registered Turf* – shall be the increase of Foundation sprigs or seed.
  • Certified Turf – shall be the increase of Registered sprigs or seed or Foundation sprigs of seed.

*A grower of Registered turf may increase the original Foundation class planting to no more than 10 acres if the increase is continuous within the original field and a CCIA inspector is present at harvest and planting.

APPLICATION -- A Pre-Application must be submitted to CCIA two weeks prior to planting to allow for a pre-planting inspection. Applications should be submitted electronically on CCIA’s website (Application to grow and certify seed) no later than two (2) weeks after planting. New applicants should contact the CCIA office for instructions on obtaining access to the online application system.

FIELD ELIGIBILITY -- Fields of all classes must be free of perennial grasses, objectionable weeds, and noxious weeds and shall be inspected by CCIA prior to planting for verification of isolation and removal of contaminating weeds and volunteers.

All Foundation and Registered class turfgrass will be produced on fumigated land or must be inspected for an entire growing season prior to planting and must be free of perennial grasses, objectionable weeds, and noxious weeds. If Certified class fields are planted on fumigated land, they must comply with the fumigation requirements.

All land fumigated with approved material must lay idle for a period of not less than three weeks after fumigation (or not less than six weeks when converting to like species) and be inspected by CCIA and be free of the above mentioned contaminating plants. Land must receive adequate moisture, (a minimum of 3/4” per week) and soil temperature (60°F at 4” soil depth) must be adequate to allow any live plants not eradicated by fumigation to emerge.

The field size shall not exceed the following:

Foundation - 10 acres
Registered - 10 acres
Certified - no limit

ISOLATION -- Plantings of vegetatively propagated turfgrasses or seeded turfgrasses must be isolated from any other variety and other perennial grasses and other certification classes by an artificial barrier and/or strip at least ten (10) feet wide to prevent mixing during the growing season and harvesting operation. Pollen producing varieties must be isolated to prevent contamination from other species. Distance from source of contamination will be determined by the CCIA after collaboration with a knowledgeable turfgrass breeder.

AGE OF STAND -- Fields of all classes may continue for as long as the varietal and mechanical purity for the class is maintained. Fields of all dwarf turfgrass varieties will be limited to five years of certification.

FIELD INSPECTION -- For a field to be eligible for the production of Foundation, Registered or Certified turf, there must have been an inspection prior to planting to verify the field to be free of all perennial grasses, objectionable and noxious weeds. A second inspection will be made approximately four to six weeks after planting and a third inspection will be performed in the fall (see table below).

Handling the Crop after Planting and Prior to Inspection -- A field must be rogued and/or sprayed with the recommended herbicides during the growing season to remove; other varieties, other perennial grasses, most common weeds, objectionable and noxious weeds. Note: When spraying, the herbicide will be applied to the area containing the mixture plus an 18” border surrounding the outer limits of the visible area of mixture. Spraying will continue until the mixture is eradicated.

Time and number of inspections -- Two inspections are required for fields of all classes. 

Every two years an intensive field inspection will be made of the Registered Class. A representative area of the field (10%) will not be harvested until seed heads appear.

Production fields that fail to meet the published varietal purity standards for the class applied for within one growing year will be permanently downgraded to the next lowest class if the field meets the standard of the next class or be removed from certification.



  1. Growers must be able to provide adequate isolation and complete segregation of all turfgrass varieties produced.
  2. Unit of Certification: A field or portion of a field may be certified. A Registered field may not be divided for certification, however, Registered turfgrass may be downgraded to the Certified class if desired.






 Other Varieties*



1 plant/acre

 Other Crops**



1 plant/acre

 Other Species

1 plant per
100 sq. ft.

1 plant per
100 sq. ft.

1 plant per
100 sq. ft.

*Other Varieties shall consist of all other varieties of the kind being produced.

**Other Crops shall consist of all other kinds and varieties of perennial grasses.

*** Other varieties, crops and species found in excess of standards during field inspection must be eradicated.

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.

If a field is rejected, a re-inspection is required and must be made not less than three weeks after rejection. The cost of the re-inspection will be paid by the applicant. Other live varieties and crops found by an inspector must be eradicated by grower if they exceed one plant per acre only on Certified Class fields but for other living plants if they exceed 1 plant per 100 sq. ft. regardless of Class of seed.

A Field Inspection Report will be available to the applicant online. 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 the field has been inspected before it is harvested.

Responsibilities of Authorized Representative of the Grower -- Each lot or shipment of turfgrass must be accompanied by a Certified Turfgrass Certificate that must be signed by an Authorized Representative of the Applicant/Grower.

The turfgrass applicant must notify the CCIA office in writing the name of the person(s) authorized to sign the certificates. The Authorized Representative is responsible for the following:

  1. Ensuring that all grass represented on the certificate was inspected and accepted for certification.
  2. Ensuring the Certificates contain all the required information and is correct (i.e., kind, variety, quantity, billing invoice, field #, harvest date, and grower information).
  3. Ensuring that turfgrass represented by the Certificate continues to meet the appropriate CCIA Turfgrass Standards after the CCIA inspection.
  4. Ensuring that the Certificate accompanies each shipment of turfgrass.
  5. Mailing or e-mailing a copy of the appropriate Certificate to CCIA office on a weekly basis.
  6. Preventing non-certified grass from being sold as Certified turfgrass.
  7. Ensuring that all records required in the CCIA Turfgrass Standards are maintained.

Updated September 18, 2023