North Dakota Foundation Seedstocks


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The North Dakota Seed Increase Program each year focuses on the distribution and rapid increase of new field crop varieties released by plant breeders at the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (NDAES). In order to become readily available to all growers throughout the state, the increase of new variety releases requires the coordinated efforts of the NDAES Foundation Seed Stocks Project, the County Extension Agents, the County Crop Improvement Associations (CCIA), the North Dakota Ag Association (NDAA) and the experienced, qualified certified seed growers in each county. Since all new NDAES varieties will be protected under the Plant Variety Protection Act and most will have Title V restrictions, the North Dakota State Seed Department (NDSSD) also becomes involved in the seed increase process through field inspections, final seed certification and seed regulatory activities.

Selection of seed increase growers is done by a local CCIA selection process. Selection procedures may vary by county. The basic process begins when the CCIA in cooperation with their County Extension Agent determine which new variety releases they would like to increase in their respective counties. From the county requests, an NDAES Allocation Committee then determines how much seed of each new variety can be provided to the counties. When the seed supply is not large enough to provide allotments to each county that has requested seed, a selection process is utilized to determine which counties will receive allotments of the varieties released. This decision is based various factors which may include the county cropping history, geographic location and, at times, the expected specific area of adaptation of the variety within the state.

The final selection of the seed increase grower within a county for a new variety release is made by the local CCIA. This process begins when a grower asks to be considered as a seed increase grower. The request is generally made at the County Extension Office. Each county may have their own specific requirements for grower selection, such as having a history of certified seed production (some counties may require at least 1 year of certified seed production out of the last 3 years to be considered eligible). The actual selection from a pool of qualified applicants is to be conducted by the CCIA in a fair and impartial procedure. However, the overall goal of the selection process is to insure the selection of an experienced, certified seed grower who can provide the greatest assurance of successful seed production for the county.

The increase grower selected is then offered a Seed Increase Agreement by the CCIA to grow the new variety. Once the seed increase contract is signed by the grower and the CCIA, certain added conditions and requirements will apply to both parties to insure production and distribution of quality certified seed. Throughout the period of the contract, the CCIA actually retains ownership and control of any seed produced. Following conditioning and final certification, the CCIA determines the distribution of the seed increase within the county. If the seed does not meet final certification requirements, any production by the increase grower may not be used or sold as seed for planting or for any propagation purposes. Any increase which does not meet final certification standards must be dumped at the elevator as commercial grain so that variety identity is lost. This requirement, which may seem severe for limited seed of a new variety, is necessary in order to prevent poor quality or impure seed from entering the system.

For further details on the North Dakota Seed Increase Program, the Extension Publication "ND Seed Increase Program" (A-520) can be obtained at the NDSU Extension Distribution Center or your local County Extension Office. Another recently published Extension bulletin entitled "Producing Certified Seed" (A-1125) is also available.

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