The North Dakota
Newsletter of the North Dakota State Seed Department
1 Genetic Purity and
Genetic Purity and Identification
Identification Testing Services Testing Services
2 From the Commissioner’s Desk Jeff Prischmann
Since 1994, the department has offered for positive identification. For most
3 Apply Past Experiences to
genetic purity/identification testing on cereal crops such as wheat and durum,
Improve Your Processes
several cereal crops including barley, the department uses a method known
3 Check Out the State Seed durum, oat and wheat. Many customers as polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.
Website know this test as an ‘Electrophoresis’
Samples tested by electrophoresis
test. There are several reasons why a
3 Thank You can be run as individual seed or as
test of this nature is performed. One
a bulk sample. Bulked samples are
4 Seed Directory Addendum reason is that a grower or an elevator
tested using 100 seed as a single
may need to verify their own records
4 Handle Seeds Gently sample. Samples suspected of being
as to which bin a particular lot of seed
mixtures may be tested using single-
4 Potato Post-Harvest Test was stored in. Another reason would
seed analysis. To determine an exact
be that seed of two or more varieties
5 Variety Selection: The First percentage of a mixture or the number
may have been commingled during
Step Toward Success as a of off-types present, it is necessary to
handling. This test is useful as a quality
Seed Grower test individual seeds from a sample.
control measure for seed certification
5 Seed Transactions, Seed Sales programs. The department also uses The department also tests corn, field
Agreements, Prepaid Seed this test during the regulatory inspec- peas and soybeans using isoelectric
Contracts: What is Required of tion process to verify that seed labels focusing electrophoresis (IEF) of
the Buyer and Seller? match what is in the bag on foundation, seed proteins. This test offers greater
registered and certified seed. flexibility in genetic purity testing as
several enzyme stain systems are
Genetic purity testing involves the
available to identify selfs, outcrosses
analysis of seed proteins utilizing a
technique known as ‘electrophoresis’.
Electrophoresis involves the separation The current minimum price for this test
of a mixture of chemical components is $45 per one sample tested against
present in seed, in this case, proteins, one control sample using bulk seed
using a gelatinous support medium analysis. Additional samples or controls
or gel. A small amount of sample is are $10 each. Prices for corn, soybean
applied to the gel and an electrical and field pea electrophoresis testing
current is applied. The electrical current start at $100. Samples should be
allows charged molecules such as submitted for testing with as much
The North Dakota Seed Journal is published and
edited by the Seed Department, State of North Dakota, seed proteins to separate and migrate information as possible including the
under the provisions of Chap. 258, S.L. 1931, as through the gel. Proteins of different name of the suspected variety or
administrative and instrumental matter required for
size and electrical charge migrate varieties to be tested against. Call the
effective transaction of the Department’s business and
for properly fostering the general welfare of the seed different distances, which results in department for prices on single seed
industry in the state. characteristic banding patterns. A analysis testing or other questions
Steve Sebesta, Editor special stain is used to visually en- regarding mixtures and how to test
N.D. State Seed Department
hance the banding pattern or ‘finger- them.
(701) 231-5400 Fax (701) 231-5401
email@example.com print’ for a particular variety. Known
www.ndseed.com control samples are run with unknowns
budgeting for program changes in this surfacing during discussion; develop-
industry is what many would fondly refer ing and providing services that meet
to as a “crapshoot.” Please excuse the industry needs was the central point
vernacular, but the process of predict- around which all other organizational
ing, estimating and then explaining the goals revolved. In the State Seed LRP,
many what-ifs in the seed industry to the surrounding goals are internal in
the legislature in budget terms is a bit nature, intended to provide the agency
of a challenge. with a focus to promote achievement of
our basic and central goal. The diagram
From The Seed Commission is completing
below gives a visual look at the five
a long-range planning (LRP) process
the designed to assist our agency in
Commissioner’s Desk focusing the budget and program Each organizational goal is
development processes on more clearly complimented by numerous objectives
defined goals. The LRP process was that have been developed in the
launched in November 2002, went planning process. Similarly, our staff,
The first calendar quarter of
through an industry input and commis- through development of program
the year often presents an opportunity
sion review phase in 2003, and is strategies, will pursue the objectives.
to reflect on the past year, regroup in
nearing final review and approval this The goals will remain constant over
program areas coming off of fast-paced
month. While valuable for budgeting, the time, the objectives may change
field inspection seasons and look
real impact will be visible as programs according to new industry needs, and
toward gearing up for another cycle.
and services of the Seed Department the strategies will evolve or change
While Lab Service areas of the Seed
evolve over the next five years. on a yearly basis.
Department are in the “harvest” mode
in terms of workload, January through As with most planning processes, We will post the final version of the
March is a time for assessing the development of organizational vision Seed Department LRP on our website
past year’s operations and mapping and mission statements are important after final approval by the Commission.
the coming year for Certification and in focusing thought and discussion. Certainly, the entire LRP document will
Regulatory program areas. I think our vision is ambitious but provide better insight than this brief
realistic; our mission statement is right review. I hope that readers will take
Likewise, the agency follows a similar-
on the mark: a look at the “pathway” we intend to
but-different path… one that follows a
traverse in the next few years and see
biennial clock that corresponds with Vision
if the direction we intend to pursue
the North Dakota legislative calendar. The North Dakota State Seed
matches your service needs. At the very
Much of the administrative planning for Department is an internationally
least, I hope you see the effort by your
the agency begins a year early with recognized leader in services for
commission and staff to pursue a future
development of budgets. For example, the seed industry.
for the Seed Department that is based
our 2005-2007 budget proposal will
Mission on intense review and discussion, and
be submitted by August 2004, well in
To assure integrity of the seed with input from the industry.
advance of the next legislative session
industry through a commitment to
and over eighteen months before its Best wishes for a safe and profitable
client service and product quality
implementation date of July 2005. new year.
Imagine your business settling in on a Interestingly, we found during the
budget that ends nearly three and one- planning process that one goal kept
half years after you begin estimating
NDSSD Long Range Plan: Draft
There is a point to this topic. It is difficult January 2004
enough to predict an organization’s
budget needs three to four years out; Enhancing
professional and Expanding marketing
and public information
Ken Bertsch .................. State Seed Commissioner Development and
Steve Sebesta .......... Director, Field Seed Program improvement of programs and
Steve Marquardt ........... Director, Potato Program services designed to meet the
James Swanson ............ Seed Regulatory Manager needs of the agriculture
Joe Magnusson ............ Seed Certification Manager industry
Mark Hafdahl ................ Seed Laboratory Manager
Jeff Prischmann .... Diagnostic Laboratory Manager Securing financial
Kris Nicklay .......................... Administrative Officer stability
Galen Briese .......................... Field Seed Specialist
Mike Oostewijk ........... Potato Program Supervisor
2 JANUARY 2004 — THE NORTH DAKOTA SEED JOURNAL
Apply Past Experiences to Improve Your Processes
On the cusp of a new year, I once again the previous year. An example is harvesting prior to inspection will
realize that old habits are hard to break. spring wheat following spring wheat. certainly lead to a rejection. In crops
Poring over data is a habit for me. The only situation in which this such as edible beans where diseases
Twenty years as a plant breeder has scenario would be acceptable is if the such as blight and anthracnose and
conditioned me to collect as much data previous crop was the same variety weeds such as nightshade are
as possible and scrutinize it closely, and the field had been inspected by potential problems, harvesting before
for knowledge is found in the numbers. NDSSD. Growers need to be aware of inspection means certain failure
Without data we cannot possibly problems caused by volunteer crops. without exception.
measure our progress nor make logical We have noticed volunteer small
Growers are urged to review last year’s
plans for the future. Data gives us a rear grains from three years previous.
results to determine whether changes
view of where we have been, a snap- This problem is exacerbated by dry
are necessary. For information on field
shot of where we are at the moment weather in which seed remains
inspection standards go to the Field
and a roadmap of where we are going. dormant for long periods.
Seed Program section of our website,
Hopefully that roadmap is guiding us
■ Planting ineligible seed. Several www.ndseed.com
to where we want to be at the end of
applications were rejected because
the class of seed was ineligible. In
Looking back at our numbers for 2003 some cases the Certified class was
provides some insight into how suc- planted, which of course, may not
cessful we were as an agency, and be re-certified. In other cases the
more broadly, as an industry. In 2003 supporting documentation, i.e., seed
the department provided field inspec- tags, contradicted either the seed Check Out the
tion and certification services for nearly planted or the seed lot listed on the State Seed Website
900 growers. We inspected a record application.
Looking for more information
number of acres, greater than 380,000.
■ Lack of isolation. Perhaps the most about seed certification or seed
What impressed me the most, being
common reason for rejection last year laws? How about field or lot-
relatively new to this side of the seed
was the absence of required isolation specific information on seed you
industry, is that greater than 95% of the
strips. Isolation strips are required produced? Direct your mouse
acres passed inspection. This astound-
to prevent physical contamination of to the State Seed Department
ing success rate indicates that the seed
seed at harvest. Whether left blank website, www.ndseed.com.
growers are extremely quality-conscious
at planting or mowed, sprayed or Perhaps the most important
and know what measures to take to
disked after emergence, isolation tool on the site is the ability to
produce a quality product.
strips must be in place before the access field inspection and test
While we should all be impressed with inspector arrives. sample data online. Over the
the success and strive to continue that last month our staff has been
■ Weed infestation. If the inspector
excellent performance, I also look at the busy upgrading the website to
determines that the amount of weeds
numbers and understand that almost make it more informative for
in a field will present significant
20,000 acres didn’t pass inspection. our customers. Upgrades will
problems for conditioning, the entire
These acres don’t necessarily mean be added over the next several
field or portions of the field may be
failure as much as opportunities for weeks so check back often.
rejected. Small areas may need to
be spot sprayed with a product such
Nonetheless, an examination of the as glyphosate. Hand roguing may
most common reasons fields failed be warranted to remove prohibited
inspection may assist all growers, even weeds such as nightshade.
the most experienced, to improve their Thank You
■ Harvesting prior to inspection.
processes. Descriptions of specific Thanks to all the seed growers,
Unfortunately, a few fields were lost
causes, all of which are controllable, conditioners and retail facilities for
because they were harvested before
follow. another great year. Obviously, the
the inspector was able to inspect the
region’s farmers recognize the value
■ Planting on an ineligible field. field. In other situations, combines
of planting high quality certified seed
Several applications were rejected were in the field when inspectors
and that awareness correlated with
because seed was planted on ground arrived. Since the foundation of seed
increased acres in 2003. NDSSD
that produced the same kind of crop certification is the field inspection,
inspected more than 380,000 acres
THE NORTH DAKOTA SEED JOURNAL — JANUARY 2004 3
Seed Directory Addendum
The following two fields passed field inspection.
Handle Seeds Gently Omega Flax
Mark Hafdahl County Name, City Phone Class Acres Numbers
Last year the weather at harvest time Mountrail Johnson, Tim 701-628-2409 R 140 S0311577
was excellent in terms of getting the Drummond Barley
job done. The main problem that was County Name, City Phone Class Acres Numbers
encountered was that seed moisture McHenry Lee, Jim 701-722-3667 C 83 S0314158
was very low in many cases. Ideally,
large-seeded legumes should be
harvested at 14 to 16% moisture. The following individual is an Approved Conditioner for 2004.
What actually occurred was that seed Gefroh Farms, 1970 85th St SE, Hague, ND 58542…….701-336-7631
moisture was, in many cases, 8 to 10%
moisture. This situation often causes The following varieties are protected under the 1994 amendments of
damage to the seed during harvest the Plant Variety Protection Act.
and all the subsequent steps through
cleaning. The reason large-seeded PLANT VARIETY PROTECTED - PVPA 1994 Title V Option
legumes are so susceptible to damage Can only be sold by variety name as a Class of Certified Seed
is the embryonic axis of the seed lies on DURUM - Pierce
the outside of the seed and is very thin. WHEAT - Briggs
If the seed is very dry or frozen the
embryonic axis is brittle and cannot
withstand much abuse. While it is
impractical to adjust the moisture of the the combine to reduce the number of Potato Post-Harvest
seed there are some things that can be times the seed is handled. Test
done to minimize damage after harvest. Steve Marquardt
A situation that we see every year is
Handle Gently that samples are taken right off the (January 4, 2004: Homestead, FL)
The use of augers to move seed combine for a pre-germ test. The seed The planting and growing of the winter
probably does the most damage to is then put in a bin for storage and test plot has gone smoothly so far this
seed even if the moisture levels are taken out of the bin for conditioning and year. Tom Weippert and Graham Smith
high. Conveyers are probably the best returned to the bin. After all of these planted this year and reported that the
replacement for augers. There are additional steps the germ sometimes plot is in better shape than previous
other replacements for augers that drops to unacceptable levels and the years. They were very optimistic upon
are also gentler on seed. owner is not very happy. returning home from planting. We
were in regular contact with the plot
Dropping large-seeded legumes can Understanding the physical characteris-
cooperators and there haven’t been
also cause damage. Seed dropped from tics of seed, along with harvesting,
any problems to date. We arrived for
five feet will have a speed of 12 miles handling and storage precautions will
reading the plot yesterday and immedi-
per hour at impact, from 15 feet the help ensure a better seed product.
ately inspected the plot and plots from
speed will be 21 MPH and from 30 feet
other states as well as local commercial
the seed will be traveling at over 29
fields. North Dakota’s plot is in fine
MPH. We all know what these speeds
shape. In general, all of the winter test
would do to a car and they will do the
plots look promising for yielding good
same to your seed. The solution to this
is a let-down ladder. A let-down ladder
will break the distance into a series of Reading of red varieties began
steps and thus reduce the velocity at immediately, with Burbanks, whites
the bottom. and miscellaneous varieties to follow.
We expect all winter test evaluations
Handle Less will be complete prior to January 23.
When the moisture content of large-
Results will be sent to growers and
seeded legumes is low, the fewer times
published upon completion.
they are handled the better. Some
producers condition their seed right off
North Dakota winter test plot as it
appeared January 4, 2004.
4 JANUARY 2004 — THE NORTH DAKOTA SEED JOURNAL
Seed Sales Agreements,
Prepaid Seed Contracts:
Variety Selection: The First Step What Is Required of the
Toward Success as a Seed Grower Buyer And Seller?
Steve Sebesta Jim Swanson
What will be the hot variety next year? Will you have what your customers The North Dakota Seed Law contains a
demand? These are two questions that seed growers should be asking section (4-25-02) which is very specific
themselves now in order to prepare for the upcoming production season. on what is required when a seed sales
Keeping up with all the new variety introductions can be a real challenge. And how agreement or contract is written that
do you know which older varieties to continue growing or which ones to drop from involves a deposit or prepayment in part
your lineup? Unless you possess a crystal ball, you may want to do some home- or in full, and provides for a delivery at
work before ordering and purchasing seed for this season. One significant benefit a later date.
from increased efficiencies in research programs is that product lifecycles con- Typically, these requirements are in
tinue to shrink. This can be a real challenge in managing your product inventory. place when a producer orders seed
There are a number of things growers should consider when choosing a variety: through a seed company that distrib-
utes seed on a widespread basis.
Performance: Carefully review the performance of the varieties in area trials. Quite possibly, small grain seed that
Multiple location data is useful, but local data is very important in determining is produced, processed and sold on
adaptation to your soil types, climatic conditions and disease and insect pests. a more localized basis may not have
Select varieties with the genetic potential to perform well on your farm. Chances these requirements in place. It is
are it will perform on your customers’ farms also. important that both the buyer and seller
Demand: Obviously, growers already know what varieties sold well last year. High be sure that these requirements are
performing varieties create their own demand. But a review of your production and outlined specifically when the seed
sales records may help you fine-tune your plans for this year. Talk to your usual purchase is contracted.
customers to find out what their plans are. Be proactive. All things being equal, Note: This section of the law applies
i.e., price and quality, customers do business with suppliers who provide the best only if a deposit or prepayment is made.
service. Communicating with your customers conveys the message that you want
to earn their business and takes some of the guesswork out of variety selection. The following must be on the sales
Where to find information: There are a number of resources available to growers
1. The date and place of the
to help them choose the best varieties to produce.
Seed Directory: Published and distributed every fall, the directory lists all 2. Signature and address of the buyer
varieties that passed field inspection. Use it to determine what varieties are most and seller.
prevalent and in demand. 3. The number of units and price
Seed Guide: Published and distributed annually in December, the guide contains per unit.
similar information found in the directory but also contains performance data 4. The total value of the transaction.
from NDSU trials, interesting articles on timely topics and ads from seed industry 5. The amount of the full or partial
State Seed Website: Lists all varieties in the certification program each year 6. The kind and variety or kind of seed
and links to variety descriptions and other useful sites. to be delivered.
7. The class of seed to be delivered.
University Websites: Tremendous resource for trial data, production information,
If not certified, minimum germs and
purities must be stated.
Extension publications: Available in either print or electronic format. 8. The date of delivery, or latest date at
which delivery is to be made.
Variety brochures: Printed and distributed when new varieties are released.
9. The place of delivery.
Crop Improvement and Seed Association: The CISA is responsible for
the initial increase and promotion of new NDSU varieties. The association is
responsible for the equitable distribution of Foundation class seed of new Seed Journal Format Changes
varieties and maintaining genetic and physical purity during increase. A primary It’s been a number of years since the
goal of the association is to promote access to clean genetics at a reasonable Seed Journal has seen a facelift. This
price. I urge all seed producers to get more actively involved with their county issue is the first in the new format.
association. Let us know what you think… positive
THE NORTH DAKOTA SEED JOURNAL — JANUARY 2004 5
North Dakota State Seed Department Non-Profit Organization
State University Station
P.O. Box 5257 PAID
Fargo, ND 58105-5257 Permit No. 229
Northern Soybean Expo – Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo
National Hard Spring Wheat Show – Airport International Inn, Williston
KFYR Agri-International – Bismarck Civic Center, Bismarck
International Crop Expo – Alerus Center, Grand Forks
ND Certified Seed Potato Growers Annual Meeting – Alerus Center,
North Dakota Winter Show – Valley City