Seed Testing: Ensuring It Is What You Think It Is

Seed Testing: Ensuring It Is What You Think It Is

Just ask any seed technologist or seed lab worker and they will tell you why seed testing is one of the most important tools in a farmer’s toolbox today, according to an article on


“Seed testing is more important than ever before because the price on seed corn, as an example, is so high. Seed companies want accurate information on that seed bag so they can make sure the farmer they sell the seed to is getting what they paid for,” says Neal Foster, president of the Society of Commercial Seed Technologists.

“For many years seed testing has been critical to customers— farmers, seed companies, greenhouses, retailers — to know what they are purchasing. It is important to seed companies to identify which seed lots are of high quality and hopefully of high vigor. I think seed testing is more important than ever before because even more is riding on the seed being high quality and being of the proper genetics,” says Michael Stahr, manager of the Iowa State University Seed Laboratory. “In the case of corn, for instance, farmers pay a lot of money for the protection given by the several biotech traits of SmartStax and also for the superior genetics that improves yield, protects against drought, prevents lodging and helps in a number of other ways. It is not just justifying the cost of these superior seed products, but also making best uses of other inputs such as fertilizer, fuel, seed treatments and herbicides.”

“There is no question that seed testing is becoming more important,” says Beni Kaufman, secretary-general of the International Seed Testing Association. “We need to ensure the quality of the seeds farmers are putting in to the ground. Therefore seed testing is a critical part of the seed industry’s challenge of feeding the world.”