My guest on today's AM Minnesota Program will be Fawad Shah who is the Executive Director and CEO of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association. I thought of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association when Palmer Amaranth started showing up in Minnesota. It has been confirmed in 4 different counties. In all the cases Palmer Amaranth was spread to Minnesota in conservation or cover crop seed. I wondered if the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association certified conservation seed too?

One of the things the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association does is to certify seed. I remember growing up Dad would plant certified public soybean varieties, alfalfa and oats. If the seed was certified that meant certain standards were met in terms of any weed seed that might be mixed in. The seed fields would be inspected during the growing season, certain policies were followed when the seed was cleaned, germination tested and bagged.

So, does the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association certify cover crop seed too? If I am going to plant a cover crop I would want to know the seed was not grown where there is a lot of Palmer Amaranth and other tough weeds. If it was I would want to be certain it did not have weed seeds in it too. I remember certified seed does cost more but you get what you pay for! With more and more farmers adapting cover crops this is an important concern.