Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Cecil E. Fuller

Committee Members

Charles L. Cleland, Robert S. Dotson


The production of improved varieties of cultivated plants and seeds is undoubtedly as old as agriculture itself. Seed of high vitality and proven worth plays a significant part in any effective crop improvement program. Field crops like wheats comp and rice, fibers like cotton, flax, and jute, vegetables like radishes, tomatoes, and brinjal, and numerous other crops produce better results with the use of quality (even certified) seed. Numerous advantages like uniform growth, disease resistance, increased yield, improvement in the quality of the product, such as fiber length in case of cotton and oil content in case of oil seeds, are some of the outstanding examples that accrue to the farmer as a result of using high quality seed.

Seed technology comprises the determination of seed characteristics associated with each variety and testing of the seeds for trueness to variety, germination, moisture content, and presence of inert matter. The processing, drying, grading, storage, inspection, and other procedures serve to safeguard the continuity of the superior germ plasm of the seed, such safeguarding being the proper responsibility of an authorized seed certification agency.

Seed certification is the system which involves keeping of pedigree records for the various improved crop varieties. It includes inspection of fields and seeds and implementation of regulations for maintaining quality control at the various stages of production, processing, storage, and marketing of the seed. Seedsmen and farmers have real assurance of getting genetically pure seed only when they purchase or procure certified seed for trade or sowing.

Seed certification is the responsibility of the State, State governments are responsible for enforcing seed certification regulations in the United States. In the State of Tennessee, legal authority to perform this service is given to the Tennessee Crop Improvement Association which works closely with the Tennessee State Department of Agriculture and the University of Tennessee, College of Agriculture.

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