North Dakota Foundation Seedstocks

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Welcome to ND Foundation Seedstocks

Foundation Seed Program Overview

The North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (NDAES) develops and releases new, improved crop cultivars that deliver competitive yield potential, pest resistance and desirable quality characteristics. The North Dakota Foundation Seedstock Program fulfills a vital role for agriculture, transitioning advanced experimental lines from breeding programs into commercial products. The Foundation Seed Program assists plant breeders with characterization of new products, completion of documentation to meet Federal Seed Act seed certification eligibility requirements, and purification of new varieties. Foundation class seed of new releases is generally distributed through the North Dakota Crop Improvement and Seed Association the first year, and is then available to all growers in subsequent years. The program maintains Foundation seed production for as long as the cultivar is commercially viable. The program also provides essential services to USDA programs in North Dakota, enabling access to germplasm and genetic stocks developed by the Bismarck Plant Material Center and the USDA sunflower genetics programs.   

The North Dakota Foundation Seed Program is comprised of the main office at NDSU–Fargo, and NDSU research stations located across the state; the Agronomy Seed Farm, Casselton, and Research Extension Centers located at Carrington, Langdon, Minot and Williston. The main campus office provides administrative functions, manages dry bean seed production and distribution, and manages seed sales and distribution for ancillary USDA programs. Programs at RECs produce and distribute Foundation seed of NDSU cultivars and occasionally provide contract production services for other seed companies when capacity is available.

The Foundation Seedstocks Program, in conjunction with the Agronomy Seed Farm and REC directors, determines the quantity of foundation seed for established cultivars that will be required to satisfy seed needs for the next growing season. In addition, seed requirements for new experimental cultivars are determined. In any given year, the program will produce between 50 and 75 distinctive varieties of roughly 20 different crops. Over the last 20 years, the Foundation Seed program has averaged 4,500 acres of seed production per year at the RECs. Approximately 300 acres of dry edible bean seed is produced each year under contract in key western states, where drier weather conditions minimize the risk of seed-borne diseases.

Seed production in North Dakota has evolved as new crops have been introduced into the state. In response, several RECs have upgraded their facilities with modern seed conditioning and handling systems designed to properly condition and handle the new crops properly and efficiently.  Utilization of the latest technology available in farm equipment and the application of computer technologies to understand fields better, allow our production locations to efficiently deliver high quality seed products of the newest varieties available to our customers. 

Facilities and Contacts

Plant Sciences Department
NDSU, Fargo

Steve Sebesta, Director                        701-231-8140
Joyana Baumann, Assistant Director    701-231-8168
Toni Muffenbier, Business Manager      701-231-8067

Production, Conditioning & Seed Distribution Locations

Agronomy Seed Farm, Casselton, ND
Brian Otteson  701-347-4743

Carrington Research Extension Center, Carrington, ND
Dave Copenhaver, 701-652-2951

Langdon Research Extension Center, Langdon, ND
Randy Mehlhoff, 701-256-2582

North Central Research Extension Center, Minot, ND
701-857-7677

Williston Research Extension Center, Williston, ND
Kyle Dragseth,  701-774-4315

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