Federated Farmers Grain and Seed Industry Group has welcomed the development of an online tool which will be a big step forward in modernising seed certification administration. The tool will allow growers, processors and merchants to initiate, monitor and manage the certification of their crops.
"We are really glad that seed certification is being brought into the 21st century," Federated Farmers spokesman Colin Hurst said.
The new tool will allow growers of certified seed to complete many administrative tasks necessary to enter crops for certification through a website, reducing time farmers spend on paperwork and speeding up the processing time.
Mr Hurst said growers will find it particularly useful that the programme automatically records and pre-populates the paddock history where previous crops have been certified.
"It will go a long way to address the issues of constantly having to go back through your records each time you fill in a grower application."
"Growers should also be happy about the fact that they'll be able to track their application on-line to know when it's been approved. They will also be able to print off copies of their grower declarations."
Farmers will be able to view the germination test of their common seed line at both interim and final stages in real time where previously they relied on the hard copy to come in the post which had caused delays.
The website is being developed by Asurequality, which also manages seed certification in New Zealand on behalf of the Seed Quality Management Authority, a pan-industry body on which Federated Farmers is represented.
"We are in the final stages of beta testing with a group of growers right now and we hope to start a staggered role out by the end of the month," Asurequality spokesman, Evan Johnston said.
"So far the feedback has been positive and while there will be some farmers that prefer to continue with the current way, most have been prepared to look at this new technology."
At this stage, the on-line programme is only an alternative to the existing manual system, but it has been developed with an eye to the future. Asurequality distributed applications forms for log-in and password details to some 650 growers on the register of certified seed growers and almost two-thirds have been returned.
Any growers of certified seed that have not been issued log-in and password details should contact Asurequality at firstname.lastname@example.org