General Standards Glossary

General Standards Glossary

Following is a glossary of terms used in the General Standards of the CCIA.

Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASOA) - An association formed in 1949 comprising state seed regulatory officials that meet on an annual basis for purposes of discussion of mutual problems and concerns relating to seed law enforcement and administration. It is the goal of AASCO to achieve uniformity of seed legislation between member states and Federal agencies through consensus of the membership.

Accredited seed conditioner - when used in the context of seed certification, a seed conditioner or other facility allowed to handle certified seed with minimal supervision by the local Agricultural Commissioner.

AES (Agricultural Experiment Station) - a complex organization which conducts its research program at numerous locations within the State of California and in some instances in other states and countries.

Agricultural seed - the seed of any domesticated grass or cereal and of any legume or other plant which is grown as turf, cover crop, forage crop, fiber crop, or field crop, and mixtures of such seeds. It also includes any other vegetative material used for crop propagation. It does not, however, include any variety of seed that is generally known and sold as flower or vegetable seed.

Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) - an association formed in 1908 in response to initial attempts by individual states to develop seed laws. Initial priorities included, as was defined in the constitution, an attempt to seek uniformity and accuracy in methods, results, and reports. Objectives include efforts to perfect and make publicly known, through publication, uniform rules for seed testing, to establish the AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds which are generally adopted by most states as the rules for testing seeds in their respective states, and to ensure that testing procedures are standardized between analysts and between laboratories.

Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) - an association dedicated to assisting clients in the production, identification, distribution and promotion of certified classes of seed and other crop propagation materials.

Approved seed conditioner - when used in the context of seed certification, a seed conditioner or other facility allowed to handle certified seed with close oversight by the local Agricultural Commissioner.

Blend - seed consisting of more than one variety of a kind, each in excess of five percent by weight of the whole.

Bulk seed - seed stored or distributed in a non-packaged form.

Bulk Sale Certificate - a document used in place of a certification tag used when certified seed is being sold for planting in a non-packaged form.

California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) - a state government agency which protects and promotes California's agriculture.

Class - there are 4 classes of certified seed: Breeder, Foundation, Registered, and Certified.

Certification tag - an attached tag or label on any container with printed information required by the seed laws of the appropriate jurisdiction.

Certification - to verify as to the variety, purity, quality, type, strain or other genetic character of agricultural or vegetable seed.

Certification Technical Committee (CTC) - this committee shall be advisory to the Board of Directors and shall recommend the varieties to be certified and the standards to be employed in field and seed inspections. Membership shall be composed of representatives from the University of California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and staff of the CCIA.

Certifying agency - (a) an official organization authorized under the laws of any state, territory, or possession to officially certify seed and which has standards and procedures approved by AOSCA to assure the genetic purity and identity of the seed certified; or (b) an agency of a foreign country determined by AOSCA to adhere to procedures and standards for seed certification comparable to those adhered to generally by seed-certifying agencies under (a) of this subsection.

Cooperative Extension (CE) - a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant universities. In most states the educational offerings are in the areas of agriculture and food, home and family, the environment, community economic development, and youth and 4-H.

Conditioning - the various procedures involved in the handling of seed after harvesting to prepare for marketing, not limited to drying, cleaning, scarifying, and other operations that could alter the purity or germination.

Cultivar – a cultivated variety; the term is often used to distinguish a genetic material that has been developed by plant breeding or other genetic manipulation from the taxonomic use of the term variety.

Double Cross - the first generation hybrid between two single crosses.

Field Inspection Report - this report is issued only after the field has received its final inspection; for fields passing certification, a certification number is included in the report.

Germination - the emergence and development from the seed embryo of those essential structures which, for the kind of seed in question, are indicative of the ability to produce a normal plant under favorable conditions.

Hybrid - the term applied to kinds or varieties of seed represents the first generation seed from a cross produced by controlling the pollination. Such controlled pollination may be by combining (1) two or more inbred lines; (2) one inbred or a single cross with an open pollinated variety; or (3) two selected clones, seed lines, varieties, or species. "Controlling the pollination" means to use a method(s) of hybridization which will produce pure seed which is at least 75 percent hybrid seed. Hybrid designations shall be treated as variety names.

Inbred line - a relatively true-breeding strain resulting from controlled self-fertilization or of backcrossing to a recurrent parent with selection or its equivalent.

Inert matter - all materials not seed but represented in a lot of seed as determined by accepted seed testing protocols. Such materials may include but not limited to broken seeds, sterile florets, chaff, fungus bodies, and stones.

Kind - one or more related species or subspecies that singly or collectively is known by one common name, for example, corn, oat, alfalfa, and timothy.

Label - an attached tag or printed information on any container which provides information required by the seed laws of the appropriate jurisdiction. It may include other information relating to the labeled seed.

Lot - a definite quantity of seed identified by a number or other mark, every portion or bag of which is uniform within recognized tolerances for the factors that appear in the labeling.

Mixture - a uniform combination of seed consisting of more than one kind each in excess of 5% of the whole.

Noxious weed seed – seed or propagule of any species of noxious weed, as determined by each state.  Noxious weed seeds are of two classes, prohibited weed seed and restricted weed seed.

Noxious weeds with a prohibited seed rating – seeds of noxious weeds with a prohibited seed rating, as determined by each state.  In seed certification, there is zero tolerance for presence of these seeds in both fields and seed lots.  List of noxious weeds with prohibited or restricted rating.

Noxious weeds with a restricted seed rating – seeds of noxious weeds with a restricted seed rating, as determined by each state.  In seed certification, there is zero tolerance for seeds of these plants in seed lots, however seeds may be tolerated in the field if the seed can be effectively excluded from the conditioned seed lot.  List of noxious weeds with prohibited or restricted rating.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) - an international organization having national governments as its members. Under its sponsorship, minimum rules and directions have been established to assist international trade in seed of known genetic purity. In the United States, USDA/AMS has been assigned responsibility of implementing the seed schemes among the states participating.

Official sample - any sample of seed taken in accord with accepted protocol and designated as official by CCIA.

Other crop seed - are seed of plants, commonly grown as crops, not of the kind or variety included in the pure seed, as determined by accepted seed testing protocols.

Off-type - a plant or seed not part of the variety in that it deviates in one or more characteristics from that which has been described by the breeder as being usual for the strain or variety.

Open-Pollinated - seed produced as a result of natural pollination as opposed to hybrid seed produced as a result of controlled pollination.

Package - A container usually designed to hold seed.

Person - an individual, partnership, corporation, firm, association, Limited Liability Corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, or other entity doing business in California.

Plant Variety Protection Office - a section within the USDA that administers the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA), by issuing Certificates of Protection in a timely manner. The Act provides legal intellectual property rights protection to breeders of new varieties of plants which are sexually reproduced (by seed), tuber-propagated, and asexually reproduced plants.

Planting Stock - seed planted to produce certified seed.

Purity - the name of the kind, type or variety and the percentage thereof; the percentage of other crop seed; the percentage of weed seeds; the percentage of inert matter; and the names of the noxious weed seeds and the rate of occurrence of each.

Recertification - production of an additional generation of certified class seed from a certified class planting stock.

Recertification of seed potatoes - the use of planting stock of one generation to produce certified seed potatoes of the next allowable generation.

Rogue - term used to indicate the removal of unwanted plants from a field.

Sample - see official sample

Seed or seeds - as used in these standards shall be understood to include all propagating materials.

Seed Inspection Report - this report is issued to the conditioner granting certification based on the seed sample tested.

Seed Testing -an established technology to evaluate seed quality, including purity, germination and other factors deemed to be important.

Seed Transfer Certificate - document used when seed is sold or delivered in bulk by one dealer to another for resale.

Single Cross - the first generation of a cross of two inbred lines, an inbred line and a backcross, or of two backcrosses.

Substandard Seed - seed that fails to meet certification requirements of genetic purity is not eligible for tagging. At the discretion of the certifying agency, seed that fails to meet requirements of factors other than genetic purity may be designated substandard and tagged. The reasons for substandard classification must be shown on the tag. Seed that could be re-cleaned to meet minimum seed standards cannot be tagged in this manner.

Tag - an attached label on any container with printed information required by the seed laws of the appropriate jurisdiction. It may include other information relating to the labeled seed.

Three-way Cross - the first generation of a cross of a single cross and an inbred line or a backcross.

Top Cross - the first generation of a cross between an open pollinated variety and an inbred line, a backcross, or a single cross.

Type - a group of varieties so nearly similar that the individual varieties cannot be clearly differentiated except under special conditions.

University of California Davis (UCD) - The University of California, Davis is the location of the Parsons Seed Certification Center, which is the principal office of the CCIA.

Uniform Blending - the capability to precisely and accurately blend together in-dirt seed, different lots, different varieties, or different species of seed according to the proper ratios (percentages) laid out in the criteria for making blends.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - an agency within the Federal government that provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management (USDA mission statement).

Variety - (cultivar) denotes an assemblage of cultivated individuals who are distinguished by any characters (morphological, cytological, chemical or others) significant for the purposes of agriculture, forestry, or horticulture and which, when reproduced (sexually or asexually) or reconstituted, retain their distinguishing features.

Variety Review Board - a committee within AOSCA developed to document the eligibility requirements for varieties entering certification programs, focusing on genetic purity, novelty, and sufficient data to support claims made by plant breeders for these new varieties. The aim of review boards is to provide uniformity among certifying agencies as new varieties were developed and grown for certified seed.

Weed seeds - includes the seeds of all plants generally recognized as weeds within California, and includes the seeds of noxious weeds determined to be prohibited and restricted by regulations adopted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Other Terms requiring definition shall be as defined by the AOSCA Standards, California Seed Law, Federal Seed Act, or PVP Act.