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State registration as a grower or handler for industrial hemp is required for testing. For industrial hemp seed located in the state of Oregon, refer to Oregon Department of Agriculture for specifics on registration- https://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/nurserychristmastree/pages/hemp.aspx. For seed located in another state, refer to that state's Department of Agriculture for registration requirements. We cannot accept industrial hemp seed from an entity that is not registered.
The test requirements will depend on customer needs and include parameters such as where the seed is being shipped, namely import/export requirements. It is the responsibility of the entity requesting testing to determine the testing needs for their situation.
AOSA Testing Rules
The AOSA seed testing protocols are the standard procedures for domestic seed testing in the United States. They are the default procedures for the OSU Seed Lab unless otherwise requested by the customer. For more information about AOSA, refer to their website- https://www.analyzeseeds.com/
The purity exam will determine the percentages of pure seed, other crop seed, weed seed and inert matter found in a subsample approximating 2500 seeds. The contaminant seeds will be categorized by type, and the inert components will be listed with the heaviest component listed first.
The All States Noxious Weed seed exam is included in an AOSA purity test. It is a subsample approximating 25,000 seeds and is called the bulk portion. It provides information about any noxious weed seeds listed in the USDA's All State Noxious Weed Seed List in the bulk portion of the sample.
Minimum submitted sample sizes:
Purity exam requires 50 grams*
All States Noxious Weed seed or bulk exam requires 500 grams*
ISTA Testing Rules
The ISTA seed testing protocols are required by various countries as part of their international import/export procedures. There are two types of ISTA certificates issued by OSU Seed Lab, an Orange Certificate or a Blue Certificate. To determine which type of certificate is needed, please refer to our ISTA Certificates page or the ISTA website- https://www.seedtest.org/en/home.html
The location of the seed will impact sampling for the seed lot. ISTA Orange Certificates require an Authorized ISTA sampler to pull any seed samples. We may be able to send a sampler from another area, but it will depend on where the seed is located, sampler availability, and the cost to the customer. If you have an authorized ISTA sampler already lined up, then we will just need their contact and authorization information. Blue ISTA Certificates do not require an Authorized ISTA sampler and the customer can sample their own seed.
The ISTA Purity exam will determine percentages of Pure seed, Other seed, and Inert matter. Other seeds are listed alphabetically by their scientific names and the inert matter is listed by heaviest component first.
The ISTA Other Seed Determination (OSD) will list the number of seeds found for contaminants in alphabetical order by their scientific names. The Australian OSD (AU) exam includes Other Seed Determination, soil, ergot, and rodent droppings percentages. The New Zealand OSD (NZ) exam includes Other Seed Determination, soil percentage, and number of nematodes found.
Note- Limited OSD is an exam for requested species
Reduced OSD is on a weight that is less than the minimum prescribed weight
Minimum submitted sample sizes:
Purity requires 60 grams*
Other Seed Determination (OSD) requires 600 grams*
Viability testing can be performed by germination and/or tetrazolium test (TZ). The germination test is based on seedling physiological traits and determines the percentage of live seeds that produce normal seedlings under favorable germination conditions. The tetrazolium test is a quick biochemical viability test which determines the number of live seeds based on dehydrogenase activity in seeds. It indicates the percentage of viable (live) and non-viable seeds in any sample regardless of its dormancy level.
The germination test typically includes a 7 day prechill and then a 7-14 day period in the warm germinator. It can take up to three weeks to obtain final germination results.
For commercial germination only tests, please submit a minimum of 1,000 seeds.
The tetrazolium test typically takes 24-48 hours. The requested submitted sample sizes are dependent on the testing rules.
For an AOSA or commercial tetrazolium test, please submit a minimum of 400 seeds.
For an ISTA tetrazolium test, please submit a minimum of 800 seeds.
If germination tests are being requested in conjunction with purity testing, then the seeds will be taken from the minimum submitted sample size stated on the Industrial Hemp Purity page and extra seed does not need to be sent.
*We can ship any excess seed back to the original customer after testing via USPS (shipping and handling fees will apply). We are required to keep the Purity portion of the sample on file, so the returned portion will be the original sample, minus about 50-60 grams.
Please refer to our Testing Fees page for current pricing.
To request testing for industrial hemp seed, please refer to our Web Forms page for the appropriate testing form for your situation.
For information about certifying industrial hemp, please visit Seed Certification's website: https://seedcert.oregonstate.edu/
The Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University is the nation's largest hemp research center, Please visit their site for more information on research for this emerging agricultural market.