One of the most important steps in seed testing is obtaining a representative sample. Incorrect sampling can cause inaccurate test results.

Sampling Bulk Seed (as in a bin)

  • equal portions should be collected from evenly distributed areas. 
  • bins need to be probed from the entire depth with several probes being taken in different parts of the bin
  • it is generally more convenient to sample the seed as it goes into or out of a bin or during conditioning

Sampling from Bags

  • follow different paths for each probe or take handfuls from well-separated points.
  • in lots of 6 bags or less, sample all bags.
  • in lots of more than 6 bags, sample a minimum of 5 bags plus 10% of the number of bags in the lot.
  • Do not sample more than 30 bags

The most common mistake in sampling is to take a sample as it is entering the bin and place the sample in a convenient place to request a test at a later date. Factors such as heating or insects in a bin could reflect changes that are not representative of the sample that is submitted