Frequently Asked Questions

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What is certified seed?

The purpose of seed certification is to maintain and make available to the public, through certification, high quality seeds and propagating materials of notified kind and varieties so grown and distributed as to ensure genetic identity and genetic purity. Certified seed is grown under stringent production requirements and has minimal weed seeds or other matter. Certified seed uses systems to maximize genetic purity off-types and other crop seeds, and weeds are guaranteed to be minimized. Certified seed is the key to that knowledge: production of this seed is carefully controlled under a quality assurance system right from the very beginning. Using certified seed will allow you to capitalize on a whole history of traceability measures.

What is PLS and where is it used?

PLS stands for Pure Live Seed. When you purchase seed by Pure Live Seed weight, it means you are only paying for seed you are guaranteed can germinate. You are not paying for seeds that are not viable, empty hulls, weed seeds, and stems and leaves. The seed has a certified test telling you exactly what is in the bag. When you buy native seed by bulk weight, you have no way of knowing how much of the seed will germinate. Stems, leaves, empty hulls, rotten seed, and weed seeds may make up 60% or more of the purchase.

How is Pure Live Seed (PLS) Calculated?

A certified test determines the purity percentage and germination percentage of each lot of native seed. Purity is the % of actual seed in the lot. Germination is the % of actual seed that will germinate.
PLS = Purity % X Germination %

What is CRP?

CRP stands for the Conservation Reserve Program. It is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.

What is CREP?

CREP stands for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. It is a part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the country’s largest private-land conservation program. Administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), CREP targets high-priority conservation concerns identified by a state, and federal funds are supplemented with non-federal funds to address those concerns. In exchange for removing environmentally sensitive land from production and establishing permanent resource-conserving plant species, farmers and ranchers are paid an annual rental rate along with other federal and state incentives as applicable per each CREP agreement. Participation is voluntary, and the contract period is typically 10–15 years.

What is WHIP?

WHIP stands for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP). It was repealed in 2014, but it was a voluntary program for conservation-minded landowners who wanted to develop and improve wildlife habitat on agricultural land, nonindustrial private forest land, and Tribal land. NRCS will continue to support existing active WHIP contracts entered into prior to passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 using the rules and policy in effect at the time of contract obligations. Portions of the WHIP Statute were rolled into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Anyone still interested in applying for wildlife projects in programs should go to the EQIP web page.

What is EQIP?

EQIP stands for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). It is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations.

PBSI House Mixes vs. Custom Mixes

Our PBSI House Mixes are mixes that we have created with specific ingredients that we carry every year. Our custom mixes are mixes that we put together for a specific customer using the ingredients requested. Our sales team can make custom mixes for you based on your land, soil, and needs. Let us help you plant more and worry less!

What is organic?

Pawnee Buttes Seed Inc. is one of the very few Organic Seed Handlers in the state of Colorado. An Organic certification requires that farmers and handlers document their processes and get inspected every year. Organic on-site inspections account for every component of the operation, including, but not limited to, seed sources, soil conditions, crop health, weed and pest management, water systems, inputs, contamination and commingling risks and prevention, and record-keeping. Tracing organic products from start to finish is part of the USDA organic promise. Organic means that the seeds were harvested from plants that were produced chemical free and untreated. Produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In instances when a grower must use a synthetic substance to achieve a specific purpose, the substance must first be approved according to criteria that examine its effects on human health and the environment.

What is germination?

Germination is the budding of a seed after it has been planted in soil and remained dormant for a certain period of time. For plants and fruits that reproduce through seeds and pollen, the seeds eventually grow into young plants through the process of seed germination. When seeds are planted, they remain inactive until conditions are suitable for germination. For germination to occur various conditions must be met such as the proper amounts of water, oxygen, temperature, and light. When these conditions are met, the seed begins to enlarge as it takes in water and oxygen. The seed’s coat breaks open and a root or radicle emerges from the seed, which is followed by a plant shoot. This initial stage of a plant’s development is germination.

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