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The Seed Testing Laboratory is maintained by SDSU to test seed samples for farmers, seedsmen, the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association, and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. Our lab is equipped with the modern testing equipment necessary to perform tests on the seeds of agricultural crops, garden vegetables, trees, grasses, and flowers.
Our staff consists of experienced, technically trained, and accredited analysts (CSA and RST) as well as part-time analysts who work under supervision. All analyses performed are made according to the "Rules for Testing Seeds" (when applicable) published by the Association of Official Seed Analysts. Upon completion of testing, an official report is issued for each sample submitted.
Crucial components of the Seed Testing Laboratory are teaching, training, and research. For well over 50 years, we have hired students as part-time analysts and taught them to test seeds properly. The training and experience these students gain is unsurpassed, and we routinely carry anywhere from 10 to 20 student-employees during the fall and spring semesters. Over the years we have hired and trained well over 800 student seed analysts, and many of them have gone on to become seed analysts or to work in the seed trade.
The Seed Testing Laboratory also conducts seed-related research and provides training, supplies, and direct assistance for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research. At any given time, we may be working with other faculty and 1 to 4 graduate students on seed-related research projects. Every year, the Seed Testing Laboratory participates in several national/regional refereed studies to evaluate potential changes in testing methods.
We also give tours to several groups each year. Tours for individuals or groups are available by request. In addition, we routinely provide seed samples of multiple species to University classes and for K-12 teaching/laboratory purposes. Lab personnel also help put on workshops and provide individual training upon request by clients or from industry.