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Seed Lab Testing, Services, and Regulations

The USDA has complied a helpful resource for what to know before you buy or sell seeds and plants online.

Mark Ashcroft, Program Manager
(435) 755-1578
Terry Freeman, Seed Lab Manager
(801) 982-2309

The Utah Seed Act was enacted to enable farmers, and others who desire good quality seed, to obtain such seed by making full use of the information required to be truthfully stated on the label or tag attached to the seed container. The State Seed Act charges the Department of Agriculture and Food with the duty and responsibility of administering and enforcing the seed act to maintain the quality and purity of agricultural, vegetable, flower, tree and shrub, and sprouting seeds sold, offered for sale or transported for sale within the state.

The seed program manager supervises administration of the State Seed Act, working closely with the Department Field Representatives in monitoring and regulating the seed trade. The seed analysts and technicians perform the necessary seed testing function at the state seed laboratory. Tests include accurateness of purity, presence of noxious weed seed, and germination claims made on the labels.

Each year the seed lab carries out a vigorous system of inspection to prevent the distribution of unfit or worthless seed and to make certain that seed placed on sale in Utah is labeled and sold in accordance with the seed act. Places of business are periodically inspected by the Field Representatives to observe selling practices and to obtain samples of seed being offered for sale. Lots of seed that do not meet their labeling claims, and are not truthfully labeled are quarantined until they comply with the provisions of the seed act.

The State Department of Agriculture and Food and the United States Department of Agriculture work together under a cooperative agreement to implement the enforcement of the Federal Seed Act. The Federal Seed Act requires complete and correct labeling of seeds shipped from one state into another and restricts the movement of seed containing noxious weed seeds on the basis of the requirements for the state into which the seed is being shipped.

The Department maintains a seed laboratory to test seed sample submitted by the field representatives, seed companies and farmers. This laboratory is authorized by law to test seed as a service to the public for a fee. Service samples may be sent to the laboratory at any time, and accurate information will be given as to the percentage of pure seed, the possible germination, and the weed infesting danger of the seed. The seed test are very carefully conducted, in accordance with the “Rules of Testing Seeds” adopted by the Association of Official Seed Analysts.

Utah Code and Administrative Rules Relating to the Seed Lab


Tests Performed by UDAF Seed Lab, Including Current Fee List

Seed Purity

Trees and Shrubs$25.00


Seed Germination

Trees and Shrubs$25.00


Seed Tetrazolium Test

Trees and Shrubs$44.00

Other Tests

Embryo Analysis (Loose Smut Test)$25.00
Cut Test$16.00
Moisture Test


Canada Standards




Examination of extra quantity for other crop or weed seedHourly Charge
Examination for noxious weeds onlyHourly Charge
IdentificationNo Charge
Hourly Charge$40.00
Additional Copies of Analysis Reports$1.00
Hourly charge for any other inspection service performed on an hourly basis (one-hour minimum)$40.00
Emergency service, per sample, single component only$42.00

Mixtures will be charged based on the sum for each individual kind in excess of 5 percent.

Samples which require excessive time, screenings, low grade, dirty, or unusually difficult samples will be charged at the hourly rate.

Charges for tests or kinds of seeds not listed will be determined by the Seed Laboratory.

Hourly charges may be made on seed treated with “Highly Toxic Substances” if special handling is necessary for the Analyst’s safety.