Breeder seed is seed or vegetative propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder of the breeding programme or institution and / or seed whose production is personally supervised by a qualified plant breeder and which provides the source for the initial and recurring increase of Foundation seed. 

Concept of breeder seed

  • The breeder seed is the first stage seed in the generation system of seed production.
  • The breeder seed provides the source of the first and the subsequent increase of foundation seeds.
  • This seed is produced by or under the direct control of the sponsoring plant breeder.

Production techniques of breeder seed

1.    Land selection: The breeder seed should be grown in such a field where earlier no rice crop was grown or if grown same variety and same class should be grown to avoid volunteer plants.

2.    Land preparation: The field should be prepared well with proper puddling, perfect levelling for uniform growth and maturity.

3.    Seed Source: Clean, healthy, and treated seeds are sown in seed beds

4.    Seed Rate: 10-15 Kg seed is sufficient for one acre based on seed type and test weight.

5.    Spacing: 

  • 15 x 20 or 15 x 15 cm2 (row x plant), depending on the season and variety.
  • Keep 40cm spacing after every 8 rows/ 2 m to facilitate intercultural operations and rouging

6.    Isolation: Three meters isolation from variety to variety should be maintained.

7.    Roguing: Roguing should be done at least in three crop stages

a.    Vegetative/ Pre-flowering stage
b.    Flowering stage
c.    Maturity/ Pre-harvesting stage

During Vegetative / Pre-flowering stage off-types/ rogues are to be identified based on morphological characters like plant type, height, leaf colour, leaf shape, stem colour, anthocyanin pigmentation, stipules/ auricle colour, hairiness, hairiness of leaves, stem etc.

During flowering stage the phonological characters viz., days to fifty percent flowering, no of days to flower (early/ late flowering), and floral characters like inflorescence type, its compactness, length, shape, florets size, pigmentation if any, presence/ absence of awns,  etc. should be observed.

During Maturity/ Pre-harvesting stage the grain characters like length of grain, width of grain, grain type, colour, awns, time to mature, plant height, type, etc. should be observed.

8.    Gap filling: No gap filling should be done after transplanting
9.    Other agronomic practices:

  • Separate beds/ nurseries are used for different varieties.
  • Proper weed management should be done to avoid weeds.
  • Fertilizer management is prescribed according to local need and soil test-based.
  • Plant protection should be followed as per recommendations.
  • Proper irrigation should be provided to avoid loss in seed quality particularly during critical stages like flowering, grain filling etc.

10. Harvesting:

  • The crop should be harvested at 80-85% maturity.
  • Proper care should be taken to avoid mechanical mixtures during harvesting particularly while harvesting different varieties.

11. Post-Harvest operations:

  • Threshing, winnowing, drying should be done with utmost care to avoid mechanical mixtures.
  • Breeder seed panicles should be gently threshed to avoid any seed damage.
  • Sun-dry for 5-6 days (or use mechanical dryer at 40°C) to reduce moisture content to 13%.
  • Processing should be done compulsorily to meet the standards
  • While using machines during post-harvest operations/ processing, proper care should be taken to make them free from other variety seeds.
  • Pack clean seeds using new bags and store the bags inside a dehumidified cold room, if possible, or use polyline bag to store inside well-ventilated store room where ambient temperature should be around 30°C.

Certification, bagging, and tagging of breeder seed

  • Certification: Breeder seed will not be certified by the Seed Certification Agency (SCA). It will be monitored by a Monitoring Team comprising the personnel from Production Institute, Crop Specialist (Breeder), Representative of crop coordinator, Foundation seed producing agencies representatives, Seed Certification Agency representative.
  • Bagging: Breeder seeds should be weighed and bagged for sale or distribution depending on the demand of the clients. There must be a logo on the bag mentioning the seed-producing institution and the name of the variety.
  • Tagging/labelling: Golden yellow tag containing the following information should be issued along with the seed. One tag is issued for every bag of seeds.

Size of the Label: 12 X 6 cm

Information on the label

Label No.



Class of Seed   Breeder Seed

Lot No.

Date of test:

Pure seed*      %

Inert matter*  %

Germination*  %

Producing Institution (Name and address)


*based on actuals 

Breeder seed proformae to be submitted

BSP-I:Allocation of Breeder seed Production

BSP-II: Time table of production and availability of Breeder seed

BSP-III: Inspection report of Monitoring Team

BSP-IV: Breeder seed actually produced

BSP-V: Grow out report

BSP-VI: Breeder seed distribution

Seed Standards for Breeder Seed

No specific standards for breeder seed were there but it should be of such a standard that the seed produced from it will meet the foundation seed standards.

Genetic Purity: 100%

Physical purity not less than 98%

Inert matter no more than 2%

Minimum germination percentage: 80%

Maximum moisture: 13%

Breeder Seed Indent and allotment

  • The Breeder seed Indent shall be placed at least one year before requirement.
  • Each State in consultation with ICAR Institutes, SAUs and National and State Seed producing Agencies shall formulate seed plan (for Breeder, Foundation and Certified Seed) for the coming cropping seasons based on assessment of existing and new varieties in each district/agro-climatic zone.
  • The Breeder Seed Indent shall be submitted to the Seeds Division DAC/ICAR for national varieties and SAUs directly for State varieties by 15th January for Kharif crops and 15th June for Rabi crops.
  • Private seed companies can place the breeder seed indent by 15th January for Kharif crops and 15th June for Rabi crops through National Seeds Association of India (NSAI) to Seeds Division, DAC for national varieties and to SAUs for state varieties.
  • The Seeds Division of DAC shall compile all the Breeder Seed Indents of States and private seed companies and furnish them to ICAR/ concerned crop Project Directors/Project Co-ordinators for production of the breeder seeds for National varieties. In case of state varieties the Director Seeds/ Research of the SAU compiles all Breeder seed indent and furnish them to the Breeder seed producing research stations/ institutes of the SAU.
  • The breeder seed will be allotted based on production information to all States and private seed companies for lifting from institutes of ICAR, SAUs to produce foundation and certified seed.
  • The indent and allotments of breeder seed of all crops will be published on the seednet portal (
  • The Lifting of Breeder Seed is monitored jointly by DAC and ICAR for National varieties and by SAUs for State varieties.
  • If the allocated agency does not lift the seed it will be penalized and similarly if the producing agency could not meet the production target it will be fined.

Breeder Seed price:

Every year the breeder seed price will be decided by the Central Government uniformly throughout the country. The rice breeder seed price for the year 2013 and 2014 are as below.



Breeder Seed Price for 2013-14 (Rs/qtl)

Breeder Seed Price for 2014-15 (Rs/qtl)


Coarse quality



Medium quality







A Line



B and R Line





Senior Scientist (Seed Technology)
Division of Seed Technology
Indian Grassland & Fodder Research Institute
(Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
Near Pahuj Dam, Gwalior Road
JHANSI- 284 003, Uttar Pradesh

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