Steps for Certifying Seed in Arkansas

  1. Call or write for the regulations (Circular 15) and an application blank for the crop you want to certify. These are furnished by the Plant Board. Study these regulations carefully (Application for Soybeans, Rice or Small Grains), (Application for Cotton). A list of seed applied on for certification is maintained in the Arkansas Certified Seed Directory.
  2. Secure an approved source of seed. Check the regulation on this point.
  3. Send the completed application to Plant Board Office, Little Rock. Unless you use your own certified seed, be sure to include with your application a copy of the invoice showing purchase of the seed, a set of tags from one of the bags and about a one pound representative sample of the seed. Check the regulations for each crop as to time applications should be made.
  4. Completely clean all planting equipment of other seeds and plant the seed for certification in a field which is relatively free of noxious weeds, and one which conforms to the regulations as to isolation from other crops and to crops grown on this field in previous years. Check the regulations on these points for the seed you are certifying.
  5. Prior to the field inspection by the Plant Board, be sure to rogue your field of noxious weeds, other crops and off-type plants. This is a very important point and if the job is done well it may mean the difference of the seed being certified or disqualified.
  6. Be sure to notify the Plant Board office about two weeks ahead of the expected harvest date so that the necessary field inspection can be made. (Always make sure the field has been inspected before harvesting the field.)
  7. Completely clean all harvesting equipment and storage of all other seeds so that no mixture will occur at this point. The method of harvesting and the storage should be approved by the Plant Board (check the cotton regulations for special requirements as to ginning and storage of seed).
  8. After harvest is completed, report to the Plant Board the number of bushels of seed saved for certification.
  9. Keep a close check on the seed in storage to see that the moisture content is low enough to prevent heating. Before cleaning, send in a representative sample for a preliminary test. This would not be an official test, but would give information as to the quality of the seed for conditioning decisions.
  10. Use the best equipment available for cleaning and treating seed. If you are using someone else's facilities to clean your seed, you may request that the Plant Board inspect the cleaning equipment just prior to the cleaning of your seed.
  11. New containers, approved reusable containers, or dedicated bulk bins must be used for seed that is for certification.
  12. After the seed has been cleaned, notify the Plant Board and an official representative sample for an analysis and moisture test will be taken by the Plant Board Inspector. This is the final step, and if the analysis conforms to the regulations, you are in line for tags or bulk certificates on your seed. Cottonseed may be officially sampled before being cleaned either in bulk or bags. (Note: only certified blue-tag grade may be sampled in the bulk and be eligible for tags or certificates.)
  13. Tags and/or bulk certificates are issued when ordered by the applicant.
  14. By carefully following the outline above you should not experience too much difficulty in getting your seed certified. If at any time you have questions or are in doubt about the next step to take, please feel free to contact the Plant Board Certification office.