University of KentuckyCollege of Agriculture
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Test Descriptions

Accelerated Aging is a vigor test used primarily on soybeans and often on corn. Seeds are pre-treated in a high temperature, high moisture environment for three days prior to the regular seven day germination environment. This test can be used to estimate the ability of the seed to emerge in the field under less than ideal conditions and should be run in conjunction with a standard germination test.

Bulk Examination test is a recent addition to the AOSA rules which determines the occurrence of a particular component in a sample. The component can be a specific weed or crop species or type of inert matter (e.g. stones, ergot, etc.). The sample size is the same as for a noxious weed test.

Cold test is a stress vigor test for corn, soybeans and sorghum and is used to estimate the ability of the seed to emerge under less than ideal conditions. Seeds are planted in a non-sterile sand/soil mixture and are kept at 50F for 7 days and are then moved to regular germination temperatures (78F) for an additional 5 days before evaluation. This test should also be run in conjunction with a standard germination test.

Endophyte testing is available for seed and live plant tillers of tall fescue. Samples are analyzed for the presence of the fungal endophyte. Please see your county Extension agent, call our lab or view Sampling for the Tall Fescue Endophyte in Pasture or Hay Stands for sampling procedures of live plant stands.

Germination test determines the percentage of normal seedlings that develop under ideal conditions. The percentage of hard or dormant seed is also determined and reported.

Moisture content testing is available and provides necessary information when considering storage and deterioration of seed.

Noxious weed test determines the rate and occurrence of Kentucky prohibited and restricted noxious weed seed. If the seed is to be sold or moved across state lines in the continental United States, a USA Noxious Test will determine the rate and occurrence of noxious weeds in other states. See more.

Other: Varietal identification tests include Hypocotyl Color for Soybeans, Peroxidase Test for Soybeans and Phenol Test for Wheat.

Purity analysis determines the percentages of pure seed, inert matter, other crop seed and weed seed found and includes the rate of occurrence of other crop and weed seed (#/lb.)

Seed counts provide the number of seed units found in one pound of seed. This test is commonly done for corn, soybeans and wheat.

Test weight provides additional information for determining overall seed quality of small grain species. Results are reported in pounds per bushel.

Tetrazolium (TZ) test is a chemical test which gives a quick estimate of seed viability (24-48 hrs.) The results of this test cannot be used for labeling purposes and a standard germination test should also be done.

Treated seed germination testing can be very important in years conducive to fungal development on soybean and wheat seed. You should submit raw seed and we will treat it in the lab with a 50:50 Raxil:Thiram mixture and conduct a germination test. Simultaneous testing of treated and raw seed can provide information on the benefit of treating the whole lot.