With current wheat prices a good incentive for maximizing the value of one's crop, more wheat producers realize the importance of using good management practices with minimized risk. Seed quality is a fundamental part of overall management, and certified seed has gained a reputation as a low-risk, high-value, convenient input.
In addition to personal economic value, increased certified seed production leads to more stock for the 2008 planting season, making more seed available through a reliable network of dealers. The Farmers Yield Initiative, a coalition of wheat organizations, has funded educational efforts promoting wheat variety development and plant variety protection – and also established an anonymous tip line for reporting illegal seed marketing, or the practice of "brown bagging" seed.
Seed producers meeting all certification requirements are eligible to sell seed to others or to keep it for their own planting purposes. Wheat producers who currently have foundation or registered seed growing on clean ground may call the Kansas Crop Improvement Association office at 785-532-6118 to obtain a preliminary application for field certification. These applications are due March 15.
What does it take to have a crop certified for seed? Eligible fields are first inspected for varietal purity, other crops, and weeds. After inspection the fields must be harvested with uncontaminated equipment to avoid compromising the purity of the seed. In order for seed to attain a blue "certified" label, a sample from each lot must be submitted to the KCIA seed lab to meet established standards of germination, test weight, and purity.
Throughout the certification process, appropriate forms must be completed and submitted in order for the KCIA office to maintain accurate records of the source and disposition of all certifiable seed.
For more information about seed certification and standards, contact the KCIA office at 785-532-6118, visit www.kscrop.org, or send an e-mail to [email protected].