Seed Certification - Quality Control

By TamilNadu Agricultural University on 24 Feb 2019 | read

                                             SEED QUALITY CONTROL

As per the section 6 (a) of the seeds Act 1966 the minimum limits of germination and purity standards have been notified for different kinds and according to section 6 (b) of the act a mark or label should be attached with the seed container with required particulars.

Under section 7 of the said act the sale of seeds of notified kinds and varieties are regulated. Every person selling seeds should sell seeds

  • Which are identifiable to its kind and variety.
  • Should posses the minimum required seed standards for germination, physical purity and genetic purity.
  • Should affix a mark or label with correct particular to the seed container.
  • Should carryout such other instruction given by the State Government as prescribed under rules.

Also under Rule -13 there are some requirements for every dealer to comply with

  1. No. person shall keep for sale any seed after the date of its validity
  2. The mark of label should not be tampered
  3. Every person selling seeds should keep complete lot wise records of seeds for atleast for a period of three year which also include a seed sample from each lot which may be kept for one year.

Notified seed inspectors inspect the seed selling points to verify the quality of the seeds. They also draw seed samples when they suspect the quality of the seeds being sold. Seeds are then, sent to Seed Testing Laboratories for analysis. Legal actions are initiated against the defaulters based on the analytical results. Seed selling licenses are issued under Seed Control Order 1983. Seed Inspectors also take appropriate action as and when complaints are received from farmers.

Role of farmers in maintaining the quality of seeds

Farmers should purchase the seeds only in the licensed seed selling points. Verify the details furnished in the producers label attached to the seed bag.
The label should possess the following details
Lot No.
Date of Test (Date/Month/Year)
Validity period (Date/Month/Year)
Germination %( Minimum)
Physical purity (Minimum)
Genetic purity (Minimum)
Net weight
Chemical used for seed treatment
Name and address of the producer

(Caution in red ink should be furnished for Name of the chemical, and “Do not use for Food, Fodder, or Oil purpose)Image title

                                                        Certified seed Tag

When the farmers suspect the quality, they should report the matter to the concerned seed Inspector. Further they should keep with them the tag, label and the container of the seed bag. If the seeds do not germinate properly, the fact should be reported to the seed inspector concerned.

Whenever the farmers purchase seeds they should verify the variety and its performance. They should avoid purchasing un notified varieties.

The farmers should obtain receipt for the purchase of seeds without fail. In the receipt, details on variety, Lot number and validity period should be verified at the time of purchase.

Seed testing

Seed testing is the science of evaluating the planting value of the seeds. The primary aim of the seed testing is to obtain accruable and reproducible results regarding the quality status of the seed samples submitted to the Seed Testing Laboratories.

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1. Service samples for the farmers, producers and sellers on payment of cost @ Rs. 30/- per sample to know the seed standard of their seeds. This type of samples is drawn and send to the seed testing lab by the Farmers, Producers and the sellers to know their seed standards.


The samples received from the three categories are analysed and results are communicated to the concerned within 30 days from the date of receipt of the samples.

Anybody including farmers can test their samples for it standard before the seeds are being certified, sold or sown.

2. Certified samples for certification purposes on payment of Rs. 20/- per sample by the producers as testing charges collected at the time of registration.

This type of samples is drawn by the certification officers and send them to the seed testing lab through the Assistant Director of Seed Certification with a secret code No. On receipt of the results the code will be decoded by the ADSC and then the results are sent to the producer for further certification procedure to be completed.

2. Official samples for the quality control purpose at government cost. This type of samples are drawn by the seed inspectors for the quality control as per the seed control order and Seed act to assure the availability of quality seeds to the farming community.

The seed samples received in the Seed Testing Laboratories are analysed and results are communicated to the concerned.
The following tests are conducted

  • Germination
  • Physical purity
  • O.D.V.( Other Distinguishable Variety)
  • Moisture

The Seed Testing Laboratory is the hub of seed quality control. Seed testing services are required from time to time to gain information regarding planting value of seed lots. Seed testing is possible for all those who produce, sell and use seeds.

 Minimum seed standards

CropSubmitted sample
(in gm)
Working samplePhy. purity %
Germi-nation %
Moisture %
ICereals &Millets        
2.Cumbu- Hy & var150251598751200
4.Sorghum- Hy & var9001009098751210/kg20/kg
5.Maize - inbreds100050090098801205/kg
 Maize - others10005009009890125/kg10/kg
6.Barley1000 1209885121020
7.Oats1000 1209885121020
8.Wheat1000 12098851200
9.Redgram-Hy &var1000150300987591020
10.Black gram1000100150987591020
11.Green gram1000100120987591020
13.Bengal gram1000400100098859510
14.Horse gram50010050098809510
16.French bean100045070098759510
17.Field bean10004506009875900
 Oil seeds        
18.Ground nut100050010009670900
 Fibre crops        
23.Cotton (Hy)350-L
 cotton (var)1000-L
 Vegetable crops        
24.Ash gourd700100709860700
25.Bittergourd V/Hy100025045098607510
26.Bottle gourd700100709860700
27.Ridgegourd Hy/var100015040098607510
29.Watermelon V/Hy100010025098607510
30.Cucumber V/hy150100709860700
31.Pumpkin V/Hy3501001809860700
 Fruit vegetables        
32.Brinjal V/Hy15010159870800
35.Tomato V/Hy7(hy),701079870800
 Cole crops        
39.Knol kohl10010109870700
 Bulb crops        
40.Onion V/Hy8010809870800
 Root crops        
41.Carrot V/Hy3010395608510
42.Beet root50050509660900
43.Radish V/Hy30050309870600
44.Turnip V/Hy701079870600
45.Cluster bean1000100100987091020
 Forage crops        
46.Sunhemp70050709880 00
47.Daincha90025909870 00
49.Cenchrus25 380301000
50.Stylosnathus70 79040101020
51.Kolinji  90 70 00
53.Spinach25025259870 00
54.Papaya400 4098601200
55.Moringa1000 7509670800
56.Coriander400 409565 00

ODV: Other Distinguishing Variety
CS-Certified Sample; SS-Service Sample; FS – Foundation Seed
HY-Hybrid; Var-Variety