How much seed can a Seed Check Tech check?

We need around 250 grams to do a purity, vigour and disease for most crop species. For a purity test on larger legumes and cereals, we need at least one kilogram (Two of our bags full). In order to grade large crop kinds we need up to 4 kg of seed. For specific requirements feel free to contact us.

Is seed automatically graded when purity and germination tests are requested?

No, You have to ask us to act as your grader. One of our seed grader analysts will then do the appropriate tests and apply a grade to the sample. We have graders qualified for all crop kinds to grade for import, by document or by analysis. Most crop kinds need a Purity and Germination test for Grading. Barley will also require a True Loose Smut test.

Do I need to fill out a sampler declaration form?

You have different options. If your test is for information only, you do not need one. If the seed is to be graded and sold, you need to fill out a sampler declaration. You can fill out a separate declaration for each sample you send or you can send a general declaration with your sampler’s names and numbers to be placed on file at the laboratory. (Do not forget to update us as information changes). You could also address sample declarations in your QA manual. This way you can keep them on file for your own records and not send them to the lab at all.

How do I send a sample?

You can ask us for some personalized samples bags or send them in your own bag. Make sure the bag is secure and will not open during shipping. For peas and other easily mechanically damaged crop kinds include packing material or put in a sturdy box to prevent damage. Send to our address using courier, mail or greyhound bus. Ask us about free shipping with prepaid Purolator, DHL or Bus bills.

Do you do APHIS PPQ925 forms for Shipment of seed to the United States?

Yes. We have these tests done the day they arrive to help you with your seed export to the United States. The test is a type of purity test for Federal Noxious Weeds (FNW’s) of the United States of America. The seed must be of Canadian origin or US returned seed. We need a sampler name and a lot size to complete the documentation.

Can I grade Native Seed and other Kinds not listed in the Seed Tables (Schedule I) of the Seed Regulations?

No, Kinds not on the tables cannot be graded. They must meet minimum purity standards of the table they fit into, according to 6(2) of the Canada Seeds Act. They are not required to meet standards for germination or %pure seed but may be required to meet % other crop or weed seeds by count or by %. The market place usually does require a Percentage test (Link to purity Section) as well as a germination or TZ viability test.

What is %PLS or Percent Pure Live Seed?

Pure living seed is the Germination Percentage multiplied by the Percent Pure Seed divided by 100. In highly dormant native species a Tetrazolium (TZ) test may replace a Germination test and seed is sold on a %PLS based on TZ.

Example: Germination is 90% %Pure Seed is 86%: %PLS = 90 X 86 /100 = 77%

How do you classify weeds and crops?

In Canada, any species that falls on the grade tables of Schedule I Are considered other crop when found in the crop kind under analysis. Noxious weeds are classified by the Weed Seeds Order. All other species found in a sample are called other weed seeds. This is a very simple system and can be frustrating when native seed has contaminating species, which are also native and considered desirable in the lot but are called a weed. If this is a concern, you may consider using AOSA (American) seed rules as they have a more complex system of classifying seeds, which may be more favourable to native seed types. Go to “Related links” to find links to the Weed Seeds Order and Grade Tables.

Will an Abnormal seedling grow?

No. An abnormal seedling does not have all essential structures or is damaged, deformed or decayed in a way that prevents normal development. Some abnormal seedlings with primary infection from fungus can become normal seedlings when a seed treatment is used.

How long does it take?

All tests are started the day they come into the laboratory. General turn around is as follows:

  • Purity: Normally done the day they arrive unless time consuming due to condition of sample or difficult crop kind.
  • Germination: Most pulses, canola, non-dormant cereals are 7 days. When there is a high dormancy year 3-7 days can be added for long pre-chill. Grasses can be up to 28 days with some natives taking more due to long pre-chills.
  • Seed Health: Fusarium tests are 4-5 days. Most other tests are 7-10 days. The Dome Test can be closer to 3 weeks.
  • Vigour: EC can be done in 2 days plus one for the moisture test. Most others are up to 14 days.
  • Tetrazolium: Most are 24 hours, some species can take up to 72 hours.