Field inspection involves several steps that are critical to seed certification. The first step is an audit of the application to verify whether the information provided by the applicant confirms the eligibility requirements specified by the Federal Seed Act for the variety, class, seedstock and field. The second step involves a visual inspection of the field to determine whether the crop meets field standards for factors including other varieties, other crops, weeds or seed-borne diseases and whether the crop conforms to the breeder’s variety description.


Application forms are available at the following locations: 

  • The State Seed Department
  • Forms section of our website
  • Local NDSU County Extension offices
  • North Dakota Crop Improvement and Seed Association
  • NDSU Research-Extension Centers

Growers must apply for field inspection with the North Dakota State Seed Department by the appropriate deadlines.

Crop Deadline
Grasses May 1
Hemp June 1
Field Peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Faba Beans June 15
Field Beans June 15
Soybeans - one inspection August 1
Soybeans - two inspections June 15
Sunflower June 15
Buckwheat and Millet July 15
All other crops June 15

Late Application

Applications post-marked after the deadlines will be assessed a late fee. Late applications may not be accepted if too late for inspectors to complete the inspection at the proper time for the crop.





An inspection may be cancelled by the applicant only if:

  • The inspection has not been completed
  • Inspector has not already incurred travel expenses to the field

A field that has failed an inspection may not be cancelled. The inspection fee, less $20 administrative cost, will be refunded to the applicant.

  • Bulk certificate or tag from Foundation or Registered seed
  • FSA field map or equivalent
  • Payment for field inspection (including late fee if appropriate)
  • Past due accounts must be paid in full at the time of application
  • Application forms must be signed by the applicant 

Field Inspections

Field inspection is only the first step in the certification process. Field inspection by the North Dakota State Seed Department must be completed before the field can be harvested. Failure to comply will eliminate your field and seed from certification. Growers will receive a letter in the mail notifying them who their inspector is. Call your inspector if you are not certain whether the field has been inspected before harvest. Applicants/growers will receive notification from the inspector following the inspection.



Fields may be re-inspected if:

  • A field fails inspection and the grower corrects the problem
  • The request allows enough time to complete the re-inspection before harvest
  • A grower appeals the decision of an inspector

An additional fee will be assessed based on the hourly rate for labor (including time for travel and inspection) plus mileage at the state rate, if a special trip is required.


The production unit for certification shall be a field. The field must be clearly defined and properly isolated according to the specific crop standards. Isolation distances may be extended at the request of the seed department for reasons including the production of transgenic crops or other kinds in proximity to fields being grown for the purpose of seed certification.



Roguing fields prior to inspection is recommended to remove undesirable plants from fields. Plants that should be removed include off-type plants, other crop plants, prohibited and restricted noxious weeds, and other impurities which may be growing in the field. Roguing is usually done by pulling out off-types or other crop plants or weeds and removing them from the field. In small grains, roguing should be done after heading since off-types and other crops are most easily detected at that time. In hybrid seed production, fertile off-types and undesirable plants should be removed before pollen is shed. Sterile off-types may be removed any time prior to the final inspection. Roguing is essential to maintain the purity of varieties and high standards of certified seed.


Pest Control

Whenever practical and advisable, seed fields should be sprayed with pesticides according to the manufacturer’s label for the control of pests. Growers must follow posting requirements as specified by state and federal agencies responsible for the regulation and use of pesticides.


Weeds and Diseases

A field may be rejected if the field inspector determines that the amount and kind of weeds present make it difficult to provide for proper inspection, or the condition is such that the quality of the cleaned seed may be questionable.

Prohibited noxious weeds under North Dakota seed laws and rules are leafy spurge, field bindweed (creeping jenny), Canada thistle, perennial sow thistle, Russian knapweed, hoary cress (perennial peppergrass), absinth wormwood, musk thistle, spotted knapweed, yellow starthistle and Palmer amaranth.

Restricted noxious weeds under North Dakota seed laws and rules are dodder species, hedge bindweed (wild morning glory), wild oats, and quackgrass.

Objectionable weed seeds are restricted noxious weeds under North Dakota seed laws and rules and may include some common weeds, which cause a specific problem in the conditioning of some individual crops.

Diseases not regulated by specific crop standards may be cause for rejection if the inspector determines that the quality of the cleaned seed may be affected or if results of tests made on the seed indicate a disease condition which will affect the crop produced from such seed.