All seeds shall be furnished and labeled in accordance with the laws relating to agriculture seeds and the fuels and regulations of the Iowa Department of Agriculture. The exception being the information on the tag or label shall be mechanically printed. Each unit of seed furnished shall have a label or tag containing the name and address of the person or company who labeled said seed, kind and variety, percent purity, percent germination, percent hard seed, if present, and date tested. The test date to determine the percentage of germination shall have been completed within a nine-month period exclusive of the calendar month in which the test was completed.




Prior to seeding, the entire lots of seed to be used should be inspected for damage due to rough handling, exposure to moisture or rodents. Evidence of contamination, or other reasons which would indicate the quality of seed is questionable, should be considered cause for holding until the lots or bags in question have been tested before use. Routine monitoring samples for testing will not be required.


If the seed does not comply with the minimum requirements for purity and germination, and such seed cannot be obtained, the engineer may approve use of the seed on a basis of pure live seed (Germination times Purity equals Pure Live Seed) or may authorize a suitable substitution for the seed specified.




When seeds are required to be sampled, access shall be furnished to all parts of each lot. In order to secure a representative sample, equal portions shall be taken from evenly distributed parts of each lot furnished. Samples shall be secured by inserting a sampling probe into the side or vent of unopened bags. Approximately one cup (250 ml) of seed should be withdrawn from each bag sampled, and the individual samples from a lot be combined and placed in a paper sack. Do not place seed samples in plastic bags.


All samples shall be put in a sample seed envelope and forwarded to the Office of Materials with the Sample Identification Form #193. In the large size seeds, two or more sample sacks for each lot may have to be filled to obtain the amount necessary for testing. The pertinent data, which appears on the tags attached to the bags, should be written on the sample envelope and also placed on the Sample Identification Form.


For a lot of six bags or less, each bag should be sampled. For lots of more than six bags, five bags plus at least 10 percent of the number of bags in the lot should be sampled. Regardless of the lot size, it is not necessary that more than 30 bags be sampled.

The minimum sample size for the different kinds of seed submitted for testing are as follows:


             1/2 pound (0.25 kilograms) for Bromegrass, Fescue, Switchgrass, Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Red Top, Timothy, Reed Canarygrass, Orchard, Wheatgrass, Bluestems, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Clover, Alfalfa, Crownvetch, and other seed of similar size.

             1 pound (0.50 kilograms) for Sudangrass

             1 1/2 pound (0.75 kilograms) for Hairvetch, Winter Rye, Oats and Buffalo Grass.


Contact the Office of Roadside Development for sampling of wildflower seeds.