b'PARTNER CONTENTAre You Taking a Representative Sample? P roper seed sampling is important to growers who need the best information on the quality of the seed being planted, which can ultimately affect the yield and success of the crop.When someone runs into a problem with seed quality that surprises them, the first question I ask is how they took the sample. When a sample is not properly taken it leads to a test result that does not accurately reflect the overall quality of that seed lotonly a very small portion of it.It is important to ensure that your sample is truly Janek Bartel, Laboratoryrepresentative of the larger quantity of seed you are Manager, SGS Canada dealing with. You can increase your chance of taking a representative sample by doing the following basic steps:Have a clear sampling plan in place. Do this before starting the process to ensure that you are taking a representative sample from the entire lot or field, while also being efficient and cost-effective. There are several ways to sample a lot, so deciding onWORK WITH THE RIGHT the most appropriate one beforehand is important. SEED LABTake enough samples. The sampling intensity will depend on the size of the lot or field and the vari- It is important to work with a seed lab that ability of the seed. The minimal number of samplesemploys trained professionals who specialize in will depend on the size of the lot, the number of unitsseed sampling and have the necessary knowl-in the lot as well as the sampling technique chosen.edge and skills to properly collect and handle A very good resource to determine what the cor- seed samples. They follow standardized protocols rect number of sampling actions needed is the ISTAfor sampling, which ensures consistency and Sampling Calculator, which is accessible for free onaccuracy in their results.ISTAs website.Take samples representatively. In order to ensureAt SGS, our advanced laboratory facilities are that that the samples taken from the lot are represent- equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for ative of the lot, you need to represent as many partsseed analysis. This allows us to conduct a wide of the lot as possible. In a closed lot, this would berange of tests, such as purity, germination and choosing several different units or locations within aother advanced testing efficiently and accurately, unit. In a stream sample this would be at set intervals. to determine the quality and suitability of the Mix the samples. After you have taken yourseed for planting.samples from each, thoroughly mix them together toAs part of being an accredited ISTA lab, SGS ensure that the sample is homogeneous and divideSherwood Park and Brookings can deliver training it into the retained sample and the sample that isto become an authorized sampler for the lab submitted to the lab.under ISTA. While this is geared towards export, it Store the sample properly. When it comes tois also a very good training for anyone interested sending in the sample, try to send it in as fast as pos- in proper sampling techniques. It is a two-day sible for testing. The longer it sits before testing, thecourse than can be delivered in the lab or on less representative it becomes. The retained samplelocation.should be stored in a suitable storage space to ensure the integrity of it.By following these tips, you can ensure that your sample is truly representative of the larger quantity of seed you are dealing with and minimize the risk of biasFor more info visit cropscience.sgs.cain your grading process.MARCH 2023 GERMINATION.CA 19'