No-tillers will be able to buy corn, soybean, wheat and field-bean seeds based on seed counts starting Jan. 1 after the National Conference on Weights and Measures recently approved standardized testing methods and procedures to verify seed count labeling.
The new procedures will benefit farmers and seed companies alike by creating uniform procedures for testing corn, soybeans, wheat and field beans by weight, volume, measure and count, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) says.
“It’s a step in the right direction to coordinate regulatory standards with Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) since many companies now label products with both seed count and weight,” says Sonny Beck, president of Beck’s Superior Hybrids.
The change is designed to reduce confusion about regulations and provide uniformity and harmonization of state laws, ASTA says.
An ASTA petition sought to amend a handbook of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that includes procedures for testing packages labeled by weight, volume, measure and count. The petition requested the handbook match the AOSA standards for testing seed counts when voluntarily stated on the label.
According to the NIST handbook, seed in the past has not been subject to a specific testing method tailored to seed. That created a challenge as seed can vary in size and weight depending on growing conditions and the storage environment.
“Soybean seed size can vary and the standardization coupled with calibration should help farmers with their seeding rate and purchasing plan,” says Bob Nielsen, a Purdue University agronomist.