Seed Certification

Use our online portal at to submit field inspection applications and issue bulk certificates.

New to online Field Inspection Applications? Download our 2020 Guide to Submitting Field Inspection Applications. For additional help please call 509-334-0461.

The purpose of Seed certification is to maintain the genetic and mechanical purity, and identity of seed through all steps of production, harvesting, storage, and conditioning. Close cooperation of the certifying agency, grower, conditioner, and distributor of the seed is required for a successful program. The certification process is accomplished when seed meets specific minimum requirements as established by regulation. The certification system involves a limited generation or pedigree system which is comprised of four classes of seed. Each class, except for breeder seed, must meet minimum established standards, and is denoted by a tag of a specific color. Breeder Seed: The initial stock seed produced by the breeder or institution supplying the variety. Breeder seed is not normally found in commercial channels. Foundation Seed: 'White tag seed' produced from Breeder seed. Registered Seed: 'Purple tag seed' produced from foundation seed. Certified Seed: 'Blue tag seed' produced from registered seed.

Seed certification is based on a record system which documents the entire process from the initial application for field inspection through tagging of the seed.

Seed Certification Audits

Request a field inspection of a variety accepted in WSCIA’s certification program, by grower and/or seed company to produce a class of certified seed.

Field inspection application deadlines are:
  • February 1 for fall-planted hybrid small grains, spring plantings are due 21 days after planting
  • April 1 for fall-planted small grains, peas, and lentils
  • June 1 for spring-planted small grains, field peas, lentils, and millet
  • Within 28 days of planting for chickpeas
  • July 1 for buckwheat and soybeans
  • July 15 for sorghum

Applications received after the deadline are subject to a $50 late fee.

Electronic Field Application: Visit Guide to Electronic Application: Download

Determination by WSCIA of seed stock eligibility, land history eligibility, and assignment of a field identification number. Examples of seed stock are bulk sales certificates or tags off the bags. Land history requirements may be waived if the field passes a seedling inspection. Seedling inspections are done at the 3 – 4 leaf stage, but no taller than 6” and no plant canopy. Requests for seedling inspections must be submitted to WSCIA within 10 days of planting the field.

Seedling Inspection Application: Download

Fields are inspected to determine satisfaction of minimum field standards for varietal purity, objectionable and prohibited noxious weeds, other crops, and mechanical isolation. Most rejected fields may be reinspected and approved after remedying the cause for rejection.

For specific field standards, see the Seed Certification Guide.

If a field is being used to produce two or more classes of the same variety, there must be a physical, crop-less, 3’ border separating the fields. Fields within fields must be clearly marked with a flag that is at least 5’ tall so that inspectors can locate them from a distance.

Harvesting equipment for foundation class seed fields must be cleaned and inspected prior to harvesting to make sure it is free of all contaminating material. Inspection of harvesting equipment is not required for registered or certified class fields but is highly recommended. This would include combines, trucks, augers, storage containers, etc.

Certified seed may be conditioned only at plants approved by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Approval is determined by the plant’s ability to maintain varietal purity and lot identity. To receive approval, contact WSDA or WSCIA.

Laboratory analysis of conditioned seed. A representative sample, identified by grower, field number, variety, class, lot number, and conditioning plant is submitted to the WSDA Seed Lab for official analysis. The seed is analyzed to determine percent crop purity, inert matter, presence of objectionable and/or noxious weed seeds, common weed seeds, other crop seeds, and germination. The lab forwards an official lab report of analysis to WSCIA for determination of seed lot acceptance for certification based on minimum seed standards. Lots that meet the minimum standards are issued a certification certificate and if bagged, certification tags. Sample Bag Tag: Download

Certifying Agency labeling. In this final stage of the certification procedure, all lots which meet the minimum requirements of the seed class are eligible to be labeled with the agency certification tag or bulk sales certificate. Bagged seed must have a tag attached to each container. Seed sold in bulk should be accompanied by a Bulk Sales Certificate issued for that lot.

Please use this form to request tags for a WSCIA-Certified lot: tag request form.