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same seed different bag

Certified seed: Certified seed is the descendent of breeder or foundation seed produced under conditions that ensure maintaining genetic purity and the identification of the variety that meet certain minimum standards for purity defined by law and certified by the designated seed certification agency.

Quality Declared seed: In 1993 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) produced and published specific crop guidelines as Plant Production and Protection Paper No. 117 Quality Declared Seed – Technical guidelines on standards and procedures. The Quality Declared Seed (QDS) system is a seed-producer implemented system for production of seed that meets a minimum standard of quality but does not entail a formal inspection by the official seed certification system. The intent behind the QDS system is to provide farmers with the assurance of seed quality while reducing the inspection burden on government agencies responsible for seed certification. The QDS system is considered to be part of the formal seed system.


Improved versus landrace and local varieties:
Improved varieties are the product of formal breeding programs that undergone testing and are released through a formal process. A landrace is a local variety of a domesticated plant species that has developed over time largely through adaptation to the natural and cultural environment in which it is found. It differs from an improved variety that has been selectively bred to conform to a particular standard of characteristics.

This post provides go-to definitions Context Global Development uses in discussing the early generation seed systems from across the globe that were reviewed by USAID and BMGF. The definitions were sourced from an Africa Lead commissioned study, sponsored by USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, to determine pathways for promoting the commercial and sustainable production and delivery of early generation seed (EGS) of selected food crops.

Expanding early generation seed systems
These systems similarly require the public sector to fund and manage EGS production, but quality seed production is done on a commercial basis. The EGS system supplies some demand, but supply bottlenecks and/or demand constraints continue to impede growth.

In soybeans and other crops such as cotton, clovers, squash, and radishes, root growth occurs by cell division and enlargement of the root (Figure 3a). As growth continues, the hypocotyl elongates by cell enlargement, and the midsection emerges from the soil (Figure 3b). The seed coat usually remains below ground. As the bent hypocotyl elongates, it gradually pulls the cotyledons above ground (Figure 3c). During the critical stage when the hypocotyl is still arched above ground and is pulling the cotyledons upward, damage to the hypocotyl can easily prevent seedling emergence.

Lot Number: This number allows the seed producer to identify a specific lot from which the seed was taken in case of performance problems. The term lot means a definite quantity of seed, identified by a lot number or other identification, that is uniform throughout for the factors that appear on the label.

Figure 3. Field emergence pattern of soybean seedlings.

The classes of seed in the certification program are breeder, foundation, registered, and certified. The process of increasing seed from the plant breeder’s program to “blue label” certified seed is referred to as the seed chain, as shown in Figure 10. Supplies of breeder seed are usually maintained by the originator of the variety. Most often, the amount of a given variety available usually does not exceed a few pounds or bushels. Seed of new varieties must be made available to farmers for use in their farming programs, and pure seed stocks of older but satisfactory varieties must be maintained. Certification offers a program of planned production, whereby desirable varietal and seed purity is maintained for a rapidly changing list of superior varieties.

Pathogens (organisms that cause disease) are often present on or in the seed or in the soil. These organisms can cause diseases that destroy the seed or seedling. Chemicals applied to the seed can prevent or reduce the harmful attacks of many pathogens. These treatments include fungicides, insecticides, and, occasionally, antibiotics.

The standard germination test measures the number of normal seedlings produced by a sample of seed under optimal conditions. Germination is reported as the percentage of seed producing normal seedlings. Normal seedlings are those that produce a vigorous set of primary and secondary roots; have a healthy hypocotyl, epicotyl, and cotyledon; and produce a healthy shoot meristem. Abnormal seedlings are considered nongerminative in the Standard Germination Test, and would not be counted in the total percent germination for that sample. See Figure 6.

In one example, we discovered a seed variety that was being sold under both the Beck’s ® brand and the Supreme Ex ® brand (distributed by Seed Consultants, Inc). Same exact seed, different brands.

We recently released an online feature within FBN accounts to allow members to search the entire database for relabeled varieties!

Did you know the exact same seed can be sold under two names?

You might receive a level of service or convenience from one brand that you feel warrants a higher price. But it’s critical you know your full options so you can make the best agronomic and financial decisions when you buy seed.

At a 35k/acre population rate, that’s a cost difference of $29.75/acre.

As it turns out, it can be quite a bit. Members of Farmers Business Network are contributing their seed bag tags, seed price invoices, and yield data to an FBN Analytics project that helps farmers not be in the dark on seed relabeling.