Foundation Seed Production

Part of the Plant Materials Center's mission is to make an appropriate supply of high quality seed available to growers, seed that is well-suited to Alaska's climate and soils that will produce economic benefits for the growers.

The foundation seed program at the PMC aims to provide the highest quality low generation seed (foundation class seed) to producers for cultivar seed production. Certification is important to identify that plants have been handled in such a way as to meet high standards of pedigree retention, varietal purity and viability, and that are free of weeds, diseases, and physical damage. This process encourages the production of high quality seed of superior varieties for agricultural interests and revegetation needs.

Certified Seed Classes

  • Breeder Seed: The seed or vegetative propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder, institution, or firm which supplies the source for the initial and recurring increase of foundation seed.

  • Foundation Seed: The seed that is the progeny of breeder seed. Production is carefully supervised, so as to maintain specific genetic and physical purity.

  • Registered Seed: Registered seed is the progeny of foundation seed and must be handled carefully to maintain satisfactory genetic and physical purity.

  • Certified Seed: Certified seed is the progeny of foundation or registered seed, which has the genetic and physical purity needed for certification.

Download a copy of the seed certification standards.

Foundation Seed Production

The Seed Increase Pyramid illustrates the multi-phased seed increase process, whereby 3 pounds of breeder seed can be increased to a commercially usable quantity. Clean seed yields are based on an 80 lbs / acre. The planting rate is based on 3 lbs / acre for seed production and 40 lbs / acre for reclamation purposes.

  1. Breeder Seed: 3 lbs. becomes 80 lbs.
    Will plant a one acre foundation field

  2. Foundation Seed: 80 lbs. becomes 2,160 lbs.
    To be planted as registered or certified production

  3. Registered Seed: 2,160 lbs.
    Will plant 720 acres of Certified Seed

  4. Certified Seed: 57,600 lbs.
    Will plant 1,440 acres of erosion control or revegetation projects

Annual Seed Sale

Twice yearly, in the spring and fall, the Plant Materials Center offers Foundation class or equivalent seed product for sale to Alaskan Agricultural Producers. Notice is given at least one month prior to the sale, and the allocation period only lasts for a few weeks.

 


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