In certified seed crop production, plot production is normally the first multiplication of Breeder seed for most annual crop kinds. Breeder seed is carefully multiplied by CSGA-accredited Plot Growers to maintain varietal identify and purity in order to have enough Select parent seed to produce sufficient quantities of Foundation, Registered and Certified seed of the variety. Any seed grower is eligible to produce Foundation, Registered and Certified status seed crops.
How to Become an Accredited Plot Grower
Plot production is restricted to CSGA-Accredited Plot Growers. An individual seed grower wishing to produce plots obtains accreditation from the CSGA through the successful production of probation plots and voluntary completion of e-learning modules.
An Application to Commence Probation Plot Production (Form 154) must be submitted to the CSGA prior to March 31st for spring-seeded crops and July 31st for fall-seeded crops. To qualify to begin probation plot production, the grower must have produced certified seed in at least 3 of the past 5 years. This can be reduced to 2 of the previous 4 years with a recommendation from an accredited plot grower or CSGA recognized plant breeder or voluntary completion of e-learning modules. Then they must successfully produce a probation plot of the crop kind they have chosen for their probation production each year for 3 years. This can also be reduced to 2 years with the voluntary completion of e-learning modules. Therefore, it takes a minimum of 4 years to become an Accredited Plot Grower.
Requirements for Plot Production
There are certain “general” requirements that are applicable to all plot production with respect to things like the parent seed source and the area of the plot. However, these requirements do vary depending on whether the grower has already been accredited to produce plots or is still on probation. Probationary growers use the requirements for probation plot production until they receive their accreditation.
“Crop specific” requirements for things like previous land use and maximum impurity standards vary by crop kind but are the same regardless of the accreditation of the grower. Crop specific requirements can be found by typing the crop kind and the word “plot” in the search tool on the Regulations page (Circular 6) of the CSGA website.
Rogues and Roguing Manual
A rogue is any undesirable plant in a seed crop. Growers are responsible for keeping variants below the allowable limit as described in the variety description and off-types/other varieties below the maximum impurity standard. For some crop kinds there is also a standard for the maximum number of plants of other kinds. This is usually where the seeds of one crop kind are considered difficult-to-separate from the seeds of the inspected crop during seed conditioning or cleaning. The Rogues and Roguing Manual provides information to help identify plants that need to be removed from pedigreed seed crops. This manual will be retired later in 2021 as CSGA launches a new Professional Development Program to support growers, including probation growers working towards CSGA-accredited Plot Grower status.
Plot Production Post-Harvest Production Report and Variety Verification
Report on Plot Production
All growers producing plots must submit a report on their plot production before certification can be completed. It allows CSGA to provide feedback to plant breeders on varietal characteristics such as stability and adaptability to the region where the plot is being produced. The Report on Plot Production (Form 50) is available in the Members’ Area of the CSGA website, or by request from the CSGA office.
Variety Verification Seed Samples
Variety verification relates to confirming the varietal identity and purity for the variety the grower intended to produce. Seed samples from plots must be submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This support document provides instructions to plot growers on how to send variety verification seed samples to CFIA.