Apply for Seed Testing Service

Under the program, Federal Seed Analysis Certificates are issued on seed samples submitted for analysis. Samples are tested for the factors requested by the applicant for the service. The following tests are offered: purity, germination, noxious weed seed examination, moisture, seed count, tetrazolium viability, standard vigor tests (conductivity, cold germination, accelerated aging), variety (growth chamber and field), and tests for certain seed-borne diseases. For ISTA moisture determination, please submit 100 grams of seed in a moisture-proof container in addition to the ISTA minimum size sample submitted for other tests.
Written authority must be obtained from a company being billed for the service if that company is different from the company submitting the sample. Completed certificates will be sent to the company billed for the service unless otherwise specified by that company.
The information accompanying submitted samples needs to be as complete as possible. In an effort to expedite the testing of seed samples and the issuance of Federal Seed Analysis Certificates, as well as reduce the cost to the applicant, we ask that the following information accompany the submitted seed samples:
  • Scientific name and complete common name;
  • Seed lot number and other identifying marks;
  • Type of tests requested (such as purity, noxious-weed seed, germination, moisture, etc.);
  • Which rules for testing: ISTA, AOSA, or FSA (for samples to be exported, ISTA Rules would usually be specified);
  • For a noxious weed seed examination, provide a list of the noxious weeds in the country of destination where possible;
  • Quantity of seed the sample represents (pounds or kilograms) and/or size of shipment (if the shipment size is less);
  • Country of destination (to which country the seed is to be exported);
  • Name of seed treatment; treated seed samples must be submitted in sealed plastic bags;
  • Complete name, address, and telephone number of applicant, including signature of the individual authorizing the testing;
  • Any special instructions for sending completed certificates, such as by overnight courier service (include account number); 
  • Unless otherwise specified, certificates are sent by regular mail;
  • Request for duplicate certificates if needed.
Official Samples for Seed Testing
Beginning January 2, 2007, customers who require testing of official samples must have their official samples drawn by a Seed Regulatory Testing Division authorized seed sampler (pdf). These samplers have been trained, evaluated, and authorized to sample seed in accordance with pertinent guidelines for the purpose of service testing by Seed Regulatory Testing Division. 
USDA Seed Analysis Certificates will include a statement regarding the seed as an official sample. Each official sample must be accompanied by the authorized seed sampler’s documentation in addition to the customer’s request for analysis. A seed sample that is not accompanied by the authorized seed sampler’s report will not be considered as an official sample but will be tested according to customer request, and the resulting USDA Seed Analysis Certificate will not make any reference to an official sample.
Send samples for testing to:
Seed Regulatory and Testing Division
801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite C
Gastonia, North Carolina 28054-2193 
Phone: (704) 810-8870
Fax: (704) 852-4189