sod-harvestingThe Oregon Sod Quality Program is managed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Commodity Inspection Division and requires that an Oregon Certification eligible sample should pass through three parts: Purity and noxious exam, Oregon Sod Quality exam, and viability test (germination or TZ). Experimental varieties, isolation lots, and interagency lots are not eligible for Oregon Sod Quality testing or tagging. Sod quality tests are not standardized throughout the USA, so other states may have different sod test requirements. The text of the Oregon Administrative Rule that authorizes the sod program and governs standards is included below.

OAR 603-056-0145

Standards for Sod Quality Certification

(1) The seed lots submitted shall meet all standards for certification by Oregon State University.

(2) The seed standards for "Oregon Sod Quality Seed" of hard fescue, sheep fescue, blue fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, red fescue, chewings fescue, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass and tall fescue shall be as set out in Table 1.

(3) "Noxious Weed" and "Crop and Weed" analyses shall be based on a 20 gram sample for hard fescue, sheep fescue and blue fescue, 25 gram sample for Kentucky bluegrass (except a 10 gram Poa annua search), 30 gram sample for red fescue and chewings fescue, 50 gram sample for ryegrass and tall fescue, and a 2-1/2 gram sample for bentgrass. Testing shall be discontinued when results of the tests exceed the maximum limits set forth in Table 1.


Oregon Sod Quality Standards (OAR 603-56-145 table 1)
Kind Minimum
Minimum germination Maximum other crop*1 Maximum weed*5
perennial ryegrass 98% 90% 0.10%*2 0.02%
marion Kentucky bluegrass 95% 80% 0.10%*3 0.02%
other varieties of bluegrass 97% 80% 0.10%*3 0.02%
red fescue 98% 90% 0.10% 0.02%
chewings fescue 98% 90% 0.10% 0.02%
hard fescue 98% 85% 0.10% 0.02%
sheep fescue 98% 85% 0.10% 0.02%
blue fescue 98% 85% 0.10% 0.02%
bentgrass 98% 85% 0.10%*4 0.10%
tall fescue 98.5% 85% 0.10% 0.

*1 Must be free of ryegrass, orchardgrass, timothy, bentgrass, big bluegrass, poa trivialis, smooth bromegrass, reed canary grass, tall fescue, and clover. When the base sample is one of these kinds, the species will not be considered a contaminant (i.e., ryegrass in ryegrass).

*2 Certification fluorescence levels and appropriate calculation will be applied when determining levels of other crop.

*3 Maximum other varieties of Kentucky bluegrass allowed is 2%; maximum allowed Canada bluegrass is 0.02%.

*4 A 500-seed count will be used to determine other species of Agrostis.

*5 Must be free of dock (Rumex spp.), chickweed (Cerastium spp. and Stellaria media), crabgrass (Digitaria spp.), plantain (Plantago spp.), black medic (Medicago lupulina), annual bluegrass (Poa annua), velvetgrass (Holcus spp.), and other "All-state" noxious weed seeds, except Hawaii.