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Sowing Seed

Certified seed is classed according to its generation along the pedigree.

"Breeder’s" seed is used to produce "Pre-basic", which is used to produce "Basic", which in turn is used to produce First Generation" or "C1" certified seed.

Most certified seed is "C1" class grown from "Basic" seed. As evidence of the pedigree of the sowing seed, labels from the Basic seed bags must be kept and forwarded to Seed Services within three weeks of sowing.

Most varieties of pasture and forage species cannot be distinguished in the field. Therefore, an unsown strip, at least two metres wide and one full lap of the paddock, must be left for inspection. This is required in some medic, clover and vetch seed crops to check whether a similar variety or species has previously grown and set seed in the paddock. You can check the guidelines for your crop type.


No special equipment is required to grow certified seed. However, seeders, headers, trucks, bins and augers must all be thoroughly cleaned to ensure there is no risk of contamination to the sowing seed or the harvested seed.

A Seed Certification Officer may inspect machinery prior to sowing or harvest in some situations, ie:

  • for crops sown to produce Pre-Basic or Basic seed;
  • for growers new to the certification scheme;
  • as an audit check on any grower participating in the scheme.