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