It is the job of the Alabama Seed Laboratory to inspect seeds for the presence of weed seed, inert material, and other quality factors such as germination rate, so that consumers and farmers know that the seed that they purchase is of the highest quality. The Alabama Seed Laboratory also inspects seeds that are grown by Alabama farmers for sale.
Submitting Samples to the Seed Laboratory
Seed Testing Fees
The main function of the seed lab is to test seed samples collected by the Department's Ag Compliance Division inspectors from retail and wholesale establishments throughout the state. This service ensures that seeds offered for sale are correctly labeled and meet the minimum requirements of the state seed law.
Throughout the year, Department inspectors routinely visit farm supply stores, plant nurseries, hardware stores and other outlets where seeds are sold to collect samples for testing. In addition, the inspectors check seed packets to ensure they are properly labeled and that the weight stated on the packet is correct.
Inspection at the wholesale level is important for uniform quality of the seed used by farmers and consumers alike to plant their crops, lawns and gardens. These inspections benefit wholesale seed dealers because it allows the ADA to find problems before the lots are distributed statewide.
Categories of seed samples tested include certified, service and official. Certified seed samples are those submitted by certified growers under programs of the Alabama Crop Improvement Association. Service samples may be submitted by farmers for testing. Official samples are collected by inspectors to check for violations of state law. The ADA may impose a "stop sale" order on seed that are in gross violation of the law.