SWI 132.1.1 Seed Program
Specific Work Instruction
Official Seed Sampling

4.0 General Requirements

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The principles laid out for sampling, and the methods and procedures described in this SWI, are those set out in the ISTA Rules. The principles apply equally to domestic and export sampling. The only exception to the ISTA Rules is that the maximum lot sizes do not apply when sampling for domestic purposes.

The sampler plays a critical role in sampling seed lots for testing. The accuracy of the information submitted and the sampling performed by the inspector are vital to the integrity of any seed analysis certificate issued. Only certified seed samplers may submit samples with the codes: AEA, AES, AEL, COM, EXP, INV, IOM, MPF, MPI, MPN, MPP, OSS, SPP, and VV. Inspectors who are not certified may submit IAS, IDS, INQ, BRD, PHY, PHS, or SPK samples. Appendix IV provides definitions of the sample codes used by inspectors.

4.1 Outline

Seed is sampled by CFIA inspectors for the purposes of issuance of export certificates, marketplace surveillance and grade verification, quality control, or other official purposes. It is important that the sample be taken in accordance with approved methods and techniques so that it is representative of the seed lot.

4.2 Principles of Sampling

The prerequisite for random sampling is that each particle in the population being sampled has the same chance of being chosen. Ordinarily, the size of the seed sample tested is minute compared with the size of the seed lot which it represents. The proper use of sampling technique is necessary for the results of testing to accurately reflect the quality of the entire seed lot. It is essential that the sample be taken with care and in accordance with the methods described in this SWI. Likewise, in reducing the composite sample, every effort must be made to obtain a representative submitted sample. No matter how accurately the analytical work is done, the results can only reflect the quality of the sample submitted for analysis.

It should be noted that the accuracy with which the results of seed analyses will represent the seed lot depends on:

  1. the thoroughness of the blending of the seed lot from which the sample is drawn;
  2. the sampling equipment;
  3. the care used in drawing the primary samples;
  4. the care with which a number of primary samples drawn from several containers are mixed to form a composite sample representing a seed lot;
  5. the care used in mixing and dividing the composite sample to obtain the required sub- samples (submitted sample) for submission to the laboratory.

The sampler must verify that each container or part of the seed lot is easily accessible. This requirement is subject to the exceptions provided in Section 11.5.

When the seed is to be treated and a test for germination and/or moisture is requested, the tests must be conducted on the treated product.

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