Wild Rice Crop Standards

(Zizania spp.)

GENERAL STANDARDS -- The standards on this sheet are in part condensed and apply to wild 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 one (1) generation. 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.

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 wild rice for the previous two years or must not have grown wild rice the previous year, using the following procedure:

  1. Cultivate field after harvest.
  2. Flood field in spring of first year.
  3. Dry field in summer of first year and cultivate.
  4. Cultivate field again in fall.
  5. Flood field in spring of second year.
  6. Dry up field in May of second year, cultivate and plant to certified seed.

ISOLATION -- Fields or portions of fields producing wild rice must be isolated from all other wild rice, including uncertified fields of the same variety, by a distance of at least 660’ for the Certified class and 1320’ for the Foundation and Registered classes. 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 usually about the time the grain is maturing 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. Varieties cannot always be differentiated at field inspection. When differences can be distinguished, the maximum mixture of other varieties permitted is 1:50.

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. No red rice is permitted.

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


Inert Matter


Other Crop Seed and Other Varieties*


Weed Seed


Red Rice


Noxious Weed Seed




N.S. - no standards

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