Seed Testing & Clearance

The Seed Regulatory and Testing Division (SRTD) tests agricultural and vegetable seeds to ensure the efficient, orderly marketing of seeds and to assist in the development of new or expanding markets. The test results are reported in a Federal Seed Analysis Certificate. Many importing countries require this certification of U.S. seed and grain. The SRTD is accredited by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and recognized as an unbiased authority for conducting tests on export samples. The SRTD has also achieved ISTA accreditation in seed health and variety testing and accelerated aging.

Voluntary testing services are available to anyone for a fee.  Customers submitting seed samples may request any of the following tests:  purity, germination, noxious-weed seeds, moisture content, conductivity, bioassay, seed count, pathogens, variety testing by laboratory, field, or greenhouse methods, accelerated aging, Canadian Seed Grading.

Variety Name Clearance Services

Marketing seed under the wrong variety name can lead to financial loss for several  participants in the seed marketing chain. For example, farmers buy seed to achieve specific objectives such as increased yield, competitiveness in a specialized market, or adaptability to growing conditions of a specific region. When the variety is misrepresented, the harvest may be less valuable than anticipated, or there may not be a market for the crop.

Seed companies and plant breeders also suffer in a market where problems with variety names exist. For instance, if the name of a newly released variety is misleading or confusing to the potential buyer, the variety may not attract the anticipated sales.

Researching a name to avoid potential conflict is not foolproof. We can help you with your research and help with compliance of the Federal Seed Act.

Our Seed Regulatory and Testing Division does not clear names for flowers, shrubs, or trees. To request a clearance for those items visit