Nevada State Seed Laboratory


Applications, Forms and Publications

Nevada State Seed Laboratory

Seed testing services are provided to producers, retailers, consumers, and regulatory agencies to allow more transparency regarding a specific seed product. Seed lots undergo testing to allow for more information to be obtained regarding the viability status, the purity components, among other testing services. Testing methodology is prescribed by the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) and followed by the lab’s analysts. The Nevada State Testing Lab is an associate member of AOSA.

Seed should be tested to ensure “truth in labeling” of seed offered for sale on the market, meaning that the details on the seed label are accurate and true. All commercial seed must comply with both the Federal Seed Act and state seed laws.

    Tests Offered:

    • Viability Tests: Viability refers to the number of seed in a sample that possess pure, disease-free, life. A germination or a tetrazolium test is administered upon the seed sample to determine the percentage of viable seed in that lot.
    • Purity Test: Purity within a seed lot meant that a sample was tested for a non-desired seed content. Meaning that the test looks for weed seed, inert matter (broken seeds), or other seeds other than what desired.
    • Noxious Weed Test: Noxious Weed examinations consist of looking for specific weed species that are prohibited within the state of Nevada. This examination can be broadened to encompass noxious weed seed species for all states.
    • Moisture Test: Measures the amount of moisture on a pure weight basis contained in a pre-defined mass of seed. Testing methods vary based on the species being analyzed.
    • Bulk Seed Analysis: Assesses the total contents contained within a seed sample. This test is performed similarly to the purity test, at a larger overall mass.
    • GMO Analysis (Alfalfa Only): A serological test used to identify the percent by which seed lot is genetically modified. Currently performed only on alfalfa to identify CP4 EPSPS (RR) & Bt-Cry1Ab/1Ac trait presence.

    Seed testing is required for all certified seed that is produced within the state of Nevada. Some public projects prioritize certified, tested seed before the seeds can be used. These projects may include: 

    • Nevada Department of Transportation erosion control projects
    • Nevada Department of Wildlife restoration projects
    • Nevada Department of Forestry reclamation projects
    • Other state and federal conservation projects 

    The seed laboratory works in conjunction with the State’s Plant Pathology Laboratory to assess the conditions of seed lots and has the ability identify seed-borne diseases and most pathogenic contaminants. To schedule a disease test, follow the procedures for submitting a plant sample by the Plant Pathology Program.


    • Click for PDF of Fees for Seed Testing

    How to Take a Proper Sample

    1. A sample that is representative of the entire lot to be tested is necessary.
    2. To ensure unbiased sampling, seed needs to be sampled by taking equal portions throughout the entire lot.
    3. A specific tool, such as a trier can be used to ensure that even volumes are being taken from each area of the lot.
    4. Each sample taken that requires testing must be bagged separately and labeled appropriately with the following information:
      Common name, Variety
      Scientific name (Genus Species Subspecies)
      Producer name
       Or the "Request for Seed Test" form can be added to the sample bag
    5. Use a securely sealed bag or envelope to enclose the sample.
    6. Ship the sample to the following location or call the number below for a sample pickup (if possible):

      Nevada Department of Agriculture
      Attn: Seed Lab
      405 S. 21st Street
      Sparks, NV 89431
      (775) 353-3711 
    7. Each species has a specific sample weight that must be obtained for proper seed testing to occur. The sample weights by species are listed below:

    • Seed Test Sample Submission Weight Chart