Seed Testing

Seed Testing Services

Seed testing services are provided to producers, 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 component, among other testing services.

  • Viability refers to the amount of seed that contain pure, disease-free, life. A germination or a tetrazolium test is administered upon the seed sample to determine the amount of viable seed in that lot.
  • 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 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.

Seed testing is preferred for all certified seed that is produced within the state of Nevada. Some projects require certified, tested seed before the seeds can be used. Some of these projects 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


  • 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