How much seed can a Seed Check Seed Tech check?

We need approximately 250 grams to do germination, vigour and disease tests for most crop species.

For purity tests on larger legumes and cereals, we need at least 1 kg (2 of our sample bags full).

In order to grade large crop kinds please provide 4 kg of seed.

For specific requirements, feel free to contact us at any time.

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 also requires a True Loose Smut test.

When do I need to fill out a Sampler Declaration form?

You have different options:

  • If your test is for information purposes only, you do not a Sampler Declaration form.
  • If the seed is to be graded and sold, you need to complete a Sampler Declaration form. You can fill out a separate Declaration for each sample you send or you can send a general declaration with your samplers’ names and numbers to be placed on file at Seed Check. (Do not forget to update us as information changes).
  • Lastly, you could 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?

When you are collecting a sample for testing you will need to send that sample in a bag. We can provide you with customized sample bags and you can check off the tests you require or you can simply send them to us in your own bag with instructions for the tests you need completed – make sure you provide us with your contact information if you are a new client to Seed Check. Please ensure the bag is secure and will not open during shipping. For peas and other easily mechanically damaged crop kinds please include packing material or put the samples in a sturdy box to prevent damage. Send to our address by courier or by mail. You may even qualify for free shipping – ask us how!

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

Yes. We complete these tests the day the samples arrive in order 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 either of Canadian origin or US Returned seed and we’ll need a Sampler name and 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.