Once a new cultivar has been developed with improved characteristics, there is still much to do to have seed available for producers. The process of observing, selecting, breeding, and evaluating progeny typically takes 3-4 years. The cultivar must have distinct differences from existing cultivars and demonstrate stability of these characteristics. The plant breeder develops a plant description justifying how this new cultivar differs from those currently available. The description is a part of applying for certification as a new cultivar. 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 for certification by a seed agenc. This field is required to have been out of production of the species in question 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, 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.