The Georgia Crop Improvement Association is an organization of seed producers who are interested in growing and making available to the public, through certification, high quality seeds and propagating materials of superior varieties so grown and distributed as to insure genetic purity and identity. The Georgia Crop Improvement Association was organized in 1946, and made the legal certifying agency by passage of House Bill #104 in 1956. This bill was superseded by Senate Bill #583 in July of 1997. Both bills authorized the Dean of the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to designate the Georgia Crop Improvement Association as the legal certifying agency in Georgia.
Crop Improvement Associations emphasize more efficient crop production by encouraging the use of high quality seed of superior varieties. Larger yields per acre and better quality products have always been essential for the most profitable returns from crop production.
Objectives of the Crop Improvement Association are as follows:
- To encourage and cooperate in the development of reliable sources of high quality seed of known origin, and of superior adapted varieties and hybrids.
- To safeguard the purity of purebred seed as developed by our agricultural experiment stations and other qualified plant breeders.
- To protect purchasers of seed by maintaining an inspection service for certifying only seed of high quality and of known origin and genetic purity.
- To emphasize and demonstrate the importance and value of high quality seed to farmers and to foster the production, distribution and general use of certified seed.
Inspection of the growing crop is made by official inspectors and under the direction of the Agronomist in charge of Seed Certification. Certified seed grown in Georgia may be defined as seed certified by the Georgia Crop Improvement Association to be as represented as to origin, adaptation, breeding, seed condition, purity of variety, freedom from disease and noxious weed seed.
By standardization and the certification service the Georgia Crop Improvement Association enables the farmer to secure the best seed obtainable for his farm. Certification encourages farmers to produce seed of approved varieties and also protects the buyers of crop seed in that only seed of high quality and superior performance are approved for certification.
Certified seed grown in Georgia can be readily identified by the official tag of the Crop Improvement Association attached to the container of seed. Certified seed bags must bear the official GCIA emblem or the growers brand. Certified seed standards of the Association meet or exceed the minimum standards approved by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies.