Seed Program Crucifer Seed Quarantine

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Seed Program Crucifer Seed Quarantine

Test and tag WSDA acts to prevent the spread of destructive fungal disease

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has expanded the crucifer seed quarantine area and established requirements intended to prevent the spread of black leg fungal disease. Revised state regulations extend the crucifer quarantine area from five counties in northwestern Washington to include all of Eastern Washington (*see sidebar at the right side for all counties included). The new rules were requested by the seed and oil producing industries. All seed, regardless of origin, must be tested for black leg and tagged.

Photo: Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University

Why is this important?

Black leg was discovered in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2014 where it continues to spread. This fungal disease was also confirmed in northern Idaho canola crops in 2015. Black leg affects crucifer crops. Also known as cruciferous, they include plants in the Brassicaceae, Raphanus, or Sinapis families, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, as well as canola and rape, sources of oils. Mustard and radish, used to make bio-fumigants, are also susceptible. 

So far, Washington has not detected black leg in crops. Planting only seeds that have been tested is the best way to control and prevent the spread of fungal diseases, such as black leg.

How will Washington avoid black leg?

WSDA has adopted regulations requested by the seed and oil industries aimed at curbing spread of the disease. Revised state regulations (WAC 16-301-490 to -580) extend the crucifer seed quarantine to all of Eastern Washington. The quarantine bans planting any seed infected with the regulated disease, black leg, and requires testing of crucifer seed.

Photo: Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University

These rules require crucifer seeds for planting in eastern Washington to be:

  • Laboratory tested and certified as free of black leg.
  • Tagged for sale indicating the seeds have met the test requirement.

What should I do?

Seed producers should become familiar with and follow the regulations for crucifer seeds. Most of the established seed businesses in Washington have been voluntarily practicing these requirements. 

Growers should look for the WSDA-issued tags that assure seeds they buy for planting are certified to be free of black leg.

Counties Included in the Quarantine

  • Clallam
  • Island
  • Lewis
  • Skagit
  • Snohomish
  • Whatcom
  • Adams
  • Asotin
  • Benton
  • Chelan
  • Columbia
  • Douglas
  • Ferry
  • Franklin
  • Garfield
  • Grant
  • Kittitas
  • Klickitat
  • Lincoln
  • Okanogan
  • Pend Oreille
  • Spokane
  • Stevens
  • Walla Walla
  • Whitman
  • Yakima

For More Information and Assistance

Contact the WSDA Seed Program at email: or phone: (509) 249-6950.