Seed Certification Overview

The Arkansas Legislature under Act 73 of Acts of 1931, designated the Arkansas State Plant Board as the Official Seed Certification Agency.

The State Plant Board Directors are empowered to develop the Official Standards for Seed Certification in Arkansas. Seed Certification Section under the Seeds Division of the State Plant Board carries out a program of pure seed production by providing inspection and administrative services to farmers and seedsmen in the production, conditioning, testing, and labeling seed of known genetic purity, physical composition and germination potential. This section supervises and participates in the inspection of crops, gins, conditioning equipment and storage facilities to insure against contamination of certified seeds. All lots of seed for Certification are sampled and tested by the State Plant Board, and appropriate tags are issued on lots meeting the high standards. 

The Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Arkansas functions as a Foundation Seed Organization in releasing varieties eligible for Certification.

The Arkansas Seed Council is an advisory group whose function is to assist in the allocation of Foundation seed produced by University of Arkansas Experiment Stations. The Director of the U of A Agricultural Experiment Station serves as Chairman and the Extension Agronomist serves as Secretary. The remaining Members of the Council are two Seed Dealers, two Seed Growers and two Members of The State Plant Board (not staff), making a total of eight voting members. The Rice, Soybean and Wheat Promotion Boards each have one non-voting representative to give the Seed Council 11 members. The Seed Council approves requests for Foundation seed based on the applicants experience, equipment and known ability as a Seed Producer. The aim is to get maximum production from Foundation seed of proven varieties and to make seed available to all Growers as quickly as possible. It is felt that Foundation seed should be placed in the Growers hands who are most assured of maximum production and who are most likely to maintain the seed within the Certification Program.

All Applicants for Seed Certification must have a current Seed Certification Permit or an Arkansas Seed Labeler's License (also known as a Seed Dealer’s License). The Seed Certification permit allows the applicant to sell his own production of bagged and tagged certified seed or Bulk Transfers of that seed to another certified grower/dealer. An Arkansas Seed Dealer’s License allows the applicant to sell seed either as certified or as non-certified (where applicable) as long as all regulations are followed.