Laboratory Services

Supporting the state’s largest industry through a broad range of laboratory services.

Seed Laboratory

Form for Submitting a Service Sample (Non-Certified)

Explanation of Services:

  1. Regulatory Samples. Samples which are drawn by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture inspectors, in accordance with procedures as outlined in the Regulations. Samples are taken from seed that has already been labeled and is in the trade channels. The purpose of regulatory samples is to ensure that the seed has been correctly labeled (consumer protection).
  2. Service Samples. Samples which are submitted to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Seed Laboratory for testing. If eligible, information from test results may be used to label seed.

There are two kinds of service samples:

Certified Samples - Samples which are produced from crops that are in the Certification Program. This seed was field inspected by Arkansas Department of Agriculture Inspectors and has met field standards. The samples must be collected by the Inspectors, and must pass the strict standards of the seed laboratory testing before being allowed to bear the official Arkansas Certified label.

Non-Certified Samples - Samples of seed which were not grown under an application for Seed Certification or do not meet the requirements under the Certification program. Samples may be submitted by the seedsman/farmer.

Explanation of Tests:

Complete Analysis (Comp) 
 Consists of the determination of the % pure seed, % weed seed, % other crop, % inert matter, % germination, and the number and kind of noxious weeds found in the sample per pound. Samples which are under consideration for Certification are also tested for % moisture and varietal purity.

Germ Only (GO) 
 Consists of the determination of the % germination. Germination is the emergence & development of those essential structures which indicate the ability to produce a normal plant under favorable conditions.

Purity Only (PO)  
Same as a complete except the % germination is not determined.

Varietal Purity (VP)  
The determination of the presence of varietal contaminants. (Certified Seed Only)

Noxious Weed Exam (NWE) 
 Consists of the determination of the number and kind of noxious weeds found in the sample per pound.

Red Rice Exam (RRE)  
Consists of the determination of the number of Red Rice found in the sample per pound.

Seed Characteristics Exam  
The determination of the general characteristics such as hilum color, grain length, etc., for non-certified samples designated as to variety.

Vigor Tests 
 Seed vigor comprises those properties which determine the potential for rapid uniform emergence and development of normal seedlings under a wide range of field conditions.

Varietal Tests  
 There are several aids which enable the analyst to determine, confirm, or group seed as to variety based on numerous tests.

Tetrazolium Tests  
 A chemical "quick test" to estimate germination potential for conditioning decisions.

Herbicide Tolerance 
The determination of tolerance to certain herbicides such as RoundupĀ®.