The MCIA Seed Laboratory offers a wide variety of tests that help determine seed quality: germination, physical purity—including other crop and weed contaminants, varietal verification, vigor, seed count, herbicide tolerance, and other tests specific to certain crops. Crops tested include small grains, corn, soybeans, sunflowers, and other annual crops, as well as perennial grasses and forages. The MCIA laboratory follows rules established by the Association of Official Seed Analysts. Test results are used to verify that certification standards for a particular crop and seed class have been met. The MCIA Seed Laboratory is accredited by the USDA’s Accredited Seed Laboratory (ASL) Program.
What is the purpose of the seed laboratory?
The MCIA seed laboratory tests seed for quality. The lab conducts germination, physical purity (including inert, other crop, and weed contaminant percentages) and noxious weed seed exams, varietal verification, vigor, tetrazolium (TZ), and herbicide bioassay tests, as well as other crop-specific tests.
Who determines how seed is tested?
The seed laboratory follows testing rules established by the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA). The AOSA Rules for Testing Seeds, used by regulatory agencies and commercial labs throughout the U.S., standardizes seed testing procedures for numerous species. Other rules may be applied when testing seed intended for export to foreign markets, such as Canada.
Why should my seed be tested?
Seed testing is one of the final steps in the seed certification process. Test results will be used to verify that standards have been met for a particular crop and seed class. Seed lots certified by MCIA are required to be tested at the MCIA seed laboratory, except for native species, which may be tested at an authorized lab. Testing information can also be used for labeling and/or quality assurance. Service testing is also available for seed that is not in the certification program. A host of tests offered, including germination, vigor, purity, and moisture, can help a seed producer, seller, or buyer assess seed quality.
How do I submit samples?
Sample bags are available from the MCIA office for submitting your samples. Fill the bag with a representative sample to the top line for large seeded agronomic crops, and to the middle line for most natives, grasses, and small-seeded legumes. If requesting a moisture test, please provide an additional 500 grams. Include an MCIA Sampling Report, available on our website or from the MCIA office, providing seed lot information and indicating the tests to be conducted on your sample.
What documentation should I look for after seed is tested?
Seed tested as part of certification will receive a Seed Certification Report, indicating the test results and a passed or failed lot status. Preliminary samples, carryover seed, and non-certified seed will receive a Laboratory Report of Analysis, which will indicate the results of the tests requested. You can receive preliminary and final results by e-mail, and a final report will be mailed to you.