Seed Germination Testing.
Seed Germination testing is an effective way to determine how likely your seed is grow into a healthy, valuable crop.
Reason for Analysis
We are very aware of the VALUE of seed testing to our customers. It isn’t just the price of the seed that counts, there is also the opportunity cost that could result from a crop failure due to seed failing to perform and associated production crops. On average we consider the value of a simple Germination Test to be around $1 million.
It isn’t just the price of the seed that counts, there is also the opportunity cost that could result from a crop failure due to seed failing to perform and associated production crops.
We understand your investment and your need to be confident with every step of production starting with seed performance. We follow the International Rules for Seed Testing (ISTA) or, where more appropriate the QDPI methods (for certain fine tropical pasture species).
When to perform Seed Germination Testing
- Prior to planting
- Carry over seed
- Seed for sale
- Prior to storage
About the Analysis
Only “Pure Seed” is used for Germination Tests. Pure Seed for each species is defined through ISTA and for certain species (some tropical grasses) the QDPI Seed Testing Methods. It is important to be aware that different species and post harvest operations can dramatically vary the proportion of Pure Seed to Inert Matter and consequently the germination result. For some seed lots, both a Germination Test and a Purity Test may be needed to get the full picture and allow you to make more informed decisions.
At the AgEtal laboratory, all Germination testing is carried out by experienced technicians according to well established methods and rules with replication. The rules specify:
dormancy alleviation strategies (light, cold, dry, acid, etc.)
most importantly, what constitutes a: Normal Seedling, Abnormal Seedling, Hard Seed, Fresh Seed and Dead Seed.
It is important to understand that the conditions employed to run a Germination Test in a laboratory are optimal and paddock conditions seldom achieve equivalent conditions. Germination Test results reflect the seed’s maximum potential to emerge. Our experienced analysts can help you understand and interpret the test results.
The result comprises 5 different categories of seed:
- Normal Seedlings - these are seedlings with all critical parts intact - roots and shoots, and are expected to develop into normal healthy plants.
- Abnormal Seedlings - these are seedlings that have germinated but where one or more critical parts fail (as determined by the ISTA). These plants are unlikely to develop into normal healthy plants and germination performance may be impaired. Given these plants establish, they may appear weedy, be unproductive, and utilise resources (soil nutrients and moisture) that could otherwise be used by healthy plants.
- Hard seeds - these are seeds that have not taken up any water by the end of the Germination Test. This is a dormancy strategy used by many species such as Legumes. Over time, these seeds may imbibe water and start the germination process.
- Fresh seeds - these seeds have imbibed water at the end of the test period but have not developed any further. Some of them may develop into normal seedlings over time.
- Dead seeds - these seeds are usually rotten at the end of the Germination Test although in some species (for example tropical grasses) the florets may be empty.
Factors affecting results
Factors that are likely to affect results - seed is a living organism. Many things can kill or deteriorate seed:
- Pickling chemicals
- Storage insects
- Fungi and bacteria
- Rough handling
Normally we ask for the same quantity as is required for a Purity Test (the two tests can come from the same sample). Where only Germination Tests are requested we need at least 400 seeds, preferably more.
Other recommended tests
Other analysis that may be carried out to augment and add value to Germination Tests:
- Seed Count
Germination Test Prices
- Group 1 - $61.60 Wheat, Barley, Sorghum, Canola, Sunflower, Panicum, White French Millet, Lucerne
- Group 2 - $79.20 Japanese Millet, Oats, Cowpea, Mungbean, Pigeon Pea, Maize, Adzuki Bean
- Group 3 - $94.60 Chickpea, Lablab, Soyabean, Canary, Pea, Silk Sorghum, Setaria
- Group 4 - $104.50 Carpet grass, Couch, Sabi, Digitaria, Bluegrass, QLD Bluegrass
- Group 5 - $118.80 Stylo, Bambatsi, Panic and (when no scarification is required) Signal Grass, Burgundy Bean, Butterfly Pea, Atro
- Group 6 - $118.80 All Pelleted Seed
- Group 7 - $145.20 Rhodes, Buffel
- Group 8 - $148.50 Natives such as Eucalypts, Acacia
- Acid Scarified - $148.50 Unless advised otherwise applies to all seed of (but not restricted to) Leucaena, Atro, Burgundy bean, Butterfly Pea, Glycine & Signal Grass
*Please advise if acid scarification is not required.
- Non viable Germination - $94.60