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Certification Services

Seed CertificationMCIA offers several programs to certify seeds and other agricultural products. These programs have been developed in cooperation with state, U.S., and international organizations to enhance the domestic and international marketability of our clients’ products.

All MCIA programs operate according to policies and procedures designed to ensure that defined standards have been met through a thorough, unbiased certification process.

MCIA members involved in the production of certified products can participate in MCIA’s various committees to provide input and review of certification programs.

All program standards and fees are approved by the MCIA Board of Directors.

MCIA’s well-trained staff performs program inspections and evaluations according to Association policies and procedures, which are designed to protect the program’s integrity, avoid conflicts of interest, and ensure proper certification decisions.

MCIA certifies the genetic identity and purity of field crop, turf, and other crop seeds. MCIA’s Seed Certification service is part of an internationally recognized system that ensures the variety and origin of certified seed has been verified by a certification agency and can be traced back to its producer through the information on the label.

Seed certification is a limited generation system based on three seed classes: Foundation, Registered, and Certified. Field inspection of the growing crop, seed conditioning, sampling, laboratory analysis, and proper labeling are requirements for certification. Seed certification procedures provide the best possible assurance of good quality seed of known identity and purity.

FAQ

What is seed certification?
Seed certification is an internationally recognized system to preserve the genetic identity and purity of crop varieties.

How is seed certified?
Seed certification requires planting eligible seedstocks, field inspection of the growing crop, proper conditioning, representative sampling, thorough laboratory analysis, and proper labeling.

Who produces certified seed?
Certified seed is produced by careful, conscientious growers, according to seed certification standards. Seed certification standards and procedures are available from MCIA.

Why buy certified seed?
Seed certification procedures provide the best possible third-party assurance of good quality seed of known identity and purity.

What should I look for to verify that seed is certified?
For certification to be valid, buyers must be provided proof of certification. Seed containers must bear an official certification label. Bulk seed sales must be accompanied by a Bulk Seed Sales Certificate.

For more information about this program, please contact us at 800-510-6242 or mnica@mncia.org or visit the Client Resources page.

MCIA certifies a product’s specific traits or characteristics through the growing, processing, and marketing channels. The purpose of this program is to preserve the genetic and/or physical identity of a product to the end consumer.

MCIA offers AOSCA*-approved IP programs including:

  • 5% Non-GMO Soybean Grain
  • Japan Positive List Compliance

MCIA can also develop customized IP programs designed to meet market demands.

*Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies

FAQ

What is Identity Preserved grain certification?

Identity Preserved (IP) refers to the maintenance of a product’s specific traits or char­acteristics through growing, production, and marketing channels. The purpose of MCIA’s IP certification program is to assist in preserving the genetic and/or physical identity of a product. In order to use the IP logo, specific program requirements must be met.

Who defines Identity Preserved standards?

MCIA is a member of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA). AOSCA has developed standards for handling Identity Preserved (IP) grain. MCIA uses these standards as the basis of our IP services.

What Identity Preserved certification services does MCIA offer?

MCIA acts as an unbiased third party to monitor and evaluate Identity Preserved (IP) systems. MCIA can help you set up a customized quality IP system, audit your current system, or provide certification of your products. You can choose one of our existing AOSCA-approved IP programs or we can assist you in the development of a program customized to meet your needs.

Does MCIA offer assistance with food safety protocols?

Yes, MCIA staff are also trained in HACCP standards and can assist in adding food safety protocols to your system.

Can MCIA offer assistance with non-GMO crop and grain traceability?

Yes, several AOSCA-approved IP programs have been specifically developed to address transgenic crops. These programs provide a “systems approach” to assure that products meet tolerance levels for genetic material derived from biotechnology.

What customized Identity Preserved programs does MCIA offer?

Our customized IP services include:

  • Seed source verification (kind and purity)
  • Planting and harvest record reviews
  • Field inspections
  • Storage, handling, and processing facility inspections
  • Product transportation monitoring
  • HACCP food safety monitoring
  • Non-GMO crop and grain traceability
  • Final product testing
  • Label verification

What should I look for to verify that a product is IP certified?

Products certified through AOSCA-approved Identity Preserved programs are eligible to be labeled with AOSCA’s internationally recognized IP logo.

For more information about this program, please contact us at 800-510-6242 or mncia@mncia.org or visit the Client Resources page.

MCIA assures that the identity of native grasses and forbs (wild flowers) is maintained through all phases of seed production. Certified seed is often required by government agencies for re-vegetation of roadsides and construction sites. It is also used for wildlife habitat and other projects to ensure that the planting materials are adapted to Minnesota’s diverse climatic conditions.

FAQ

What is native seed certification?

Native plants are often used for revegetation of roadsides, construction sites, wildlife plantings, and other projects. MCIA’s Native Seed Certification Program verifies that the genetic identity of native grasses and forbs (wildflowers) has been maintained through all phases of seed production.

How is native seed certified?

The certification process consists of several steps, including seed source verification, inspection of seed production sites, and seed conditioning and testing. MCIA issues seed labels or certificates to producers whose production has met all certification standards.

Who produces native certified seed?

Native seed is produced by careful, conscientious growers according to certification standards designed to preserve the genetic identity of native plant species.

Why buy certified native seed?

Certified native seed provides seed buyers with third-party assurance that the genetic identity or source of native grasses and forbs is accurately described on the label.

What should I look for to verify that native seed is certified?

Three different germplasm types are possible based on the amount of intentional selection that has taken place. They are:

  • Source Identified—yellow certification tag
  • Selected—green certification tag
  • Tested—blue certification tag

Alternatively, a Certification Certificate may be provided as proof of certification to buyers of certified native seed.

For more information about this program, please contact us at 800-510-6242 or mncia@mncia.org or visit the Client Resources page.

MCIA certifies that forage and mulch products are free of noxious and undesirable weeds. Forage (hay, cubes, and pellets) and mulch that meets program standards, and has proper certification markings attached, is eligible for shipment into restricted areas in the United States and Canada. Mulch is also used in various re-vegetation projects around the state of Minnesota.

FAQ

What is noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch?

The intention of this certification program is to limit the spread of noxious weeds. MCIA is designated under Minnesota law as the state’s official Noxious Weed Seed–Free Forage and Mulch Certification Agency. MCIA’s program conforms to standards developed by the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA), which allows properly labeled forage (hay, cubes, and pellets) and mulch certified by MCIA to be shipped into restricted areas of the United States and Canada.

Why buy certified noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch?

Buyers using certified noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch help minimize the spread of noxious weeds onto private and public lands. In Minnesota, certified mulch is often used by government agencies for roadside and other revegetation projects. Most public lands in the western United States require that hay transported into those areas be certified noxious weed seed–free.

How is noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch certified?

Certification requires that fields and storage sites to be inspected by MCIA within 10 days of harvest. If the fields and sites conform to standards for freedom from noxious and undesirable weeds, the harvested crop will be eligible for certification labels. Producers should apply for field and storage site inspection no later than 30 days prior to crop-cut date.

What should I look for to verify that forage and mulch is noxious weed seed–free?

MCIA issues tags with unique serial numbers for the labeling of certified forage and mulch production. For certification to be valid, an official certification label (tag) must be securely attached to the eligible product (bale) prior to delivery to the buyer.

Where can I find a list of certified noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch producers?

MCIA surveys eligible producers every spring and fall to determine availability. You’ll find the results of those surveys here on the MCIA website.

For more information about this program, please contact us at 800-510-6242 or mncia@mncia.org or visit the Client Resources page.

MCIA certifies that sod intended for installing in challenging environments has met high quality standards. This service is a collaborative effort of the Minnesota Turf Association, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

FAQ

What is quality assured sod?

The Sod Quality Assurance Program establishes high quality standards for the production and ongoing improvement of sod types suitable for installing in challenging environments. The program is a collaborative effort of the Minnesota Turf Association, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), and the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association.

How is sod quality assured?

To be quality assured, sod must meet specific standards, which include using approved seed mixes, meeting field requirements, and maintaining required documentation. The program provides third-party assurance to end users to ensure that sod meets specifications and was produced according to rigorous production standards.

Who produces quality assured sod?

Quality assured sod is produced by careful, conscientious sod producers who make use of approved seed mixtures and follow required sod production practices to meet program standards.

Why use quality assured sod?

Salt-tolerant sod is suitable for use along streets, parking areas, and roadsides where saline soil conditions frequently occur. This sod type has been approved by MnDOT and is required where MnDOT projects specify salt- or shade-tolerant sod. Sod products developed through this program will continually evolve and improve as better suited turf seed varieties become available.

What should I look for to verify that quality assured sod is certified?

A Sod Quality Assurance Certificate must accompany each sod delivery as proof of conformance to program standards.

For more information about this program, please contact us at 800-510-6242 or mncia@mncia.org or visit the Client Resources page.