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AASCO Handbook on Seed Sampling (Seed Sampler Test info below)

seed sampling handbook
The order form for this publication is at the bottom of the page.

The AASCO Handbook on Seed Sampling presents methods, guidelines and equipment for both regulatory and industry applications to uniformly obtain representative seed samples for laboratory testing. It also provides sampling procedures for the USA Accredited Seed Sampling Program (ASSP) for national and international certification and may be recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The intent is to provide a broadly adaptable format to all seed sampling situations so that the resultant laboratory analyses accurately reflect the quality of the seed lot and prevent potential trade barriers from variability in sampling.

Topics covered include:

  • Procedures for Sampling Seed with a Trier
  • Selecting and Using a Trier - Compartmentaliized double-sleeve trier, open tube double-sleeve trier, open tube, single-sleeve trier, Nobbe trier, and inappropriate triers.
  • Procedures for Sampling Seed Without a Trier - Stream-sampling Method, Hand-sampling Method
  • Special Sampling Considerations - Seed in Small Containers, Pelleted or Coated Seed, Combination Products, Mats or Tapes, Hermetically Sealed Containers
  • Preparation of the Composite Sample
  • Quality Assurance
  • Safety and Health
  • Sampling Mini-Bulk Containers
  • Recommended Sample Size - Recommended Sample Size for Agricultural Seed, Sampling Small Containers or Packets of Grass, Vegetable or Flower Seed
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Recommended References and On-line Resources
  • Recommended Maximum Lot Size
  • Recommended Forms to Record Seed Sampling

Basic Seed Sampler Test/Certificate

The association used to have their samplers training as part of the in-person Basic Inspector Training Seminar but had been planning, over the past couple years, to provide an online version. The desire to move online was accelerated with the current pandemic as in-person trainings are no longer sustainable. That move was finalized and became official just recently.

The previous in-person portion of BITS training has been replaced with an open book test for the purposes of sampler certification. The purpose of the test is for the applicant to demonstrate they can effectively use the resources provided to draw a uniform sample and understand basic principles of the Federal Seed Act. 

AASCO would like for everyone in the seed industry to be using the same methods for sampling their seed and so has made the test available to anyone. Because the online test is new, applicants are encouraged to provide feedback so the test may be continually improved. The overall cost of the certification is $80.00 and includes:

  • The handbook which is $40.00 and may be purchased separately.
  • The test which is $40.00 and includes other resources in addition to the handbook purchase.
    • Upon satisfactory completion of the test, the applicant will be allowed to print a certificate of completion.
    • The certificate does not expire.
  • The expectation is for the samplers to regularly check the website for handbook updates.



Order Form - Handbook on Seed Sampling & Basic Seed Sampler Test/Certificate - updated 11/2020 [pdf, 221kb]

Do you have questions about the Handbook on Seed Sampling? Contact: