Once a desired trait has been selected and a new cultivar is developed, there is still much to do in order to have seed available for producers. The process of observing, selecting, breeding, and evaluating progeny takes 3-4 years. By then the plant must show reliability and distinct differences from previous varieties. The plant breeder develops a plant description justifying how this new variety is distinquishable. The description is a part of the applying for certification as a new variety. A few grams to a few pounds of seed, called stock seed are used to plant a breeder seed field of about a quarter of an acre in a research station plot. From the breeder seed field, seed is used to plant 5-10 acres (2-4 hectares) called a foundation seed field which is planted into a usually certified by a seed agency and has not had the species in question in its soil for the past five years. Seed from the foundation field is used to plant hundreds to thousands of acres to obtain registered seed which is used for a certified seed field and checked by state authorities. The seed from certified seed fields is then marketed to forage producers. The steps leading to certified seed from a new variety takes 10-15 growing seasons. However, the benefits of certified seed are numerous and enduring.