SWI 132.1.1 Seed Program
Specific Work Instruction
Official Seed Sampling
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Table of Contents
- 0.0 Introduction
- 1.0 Scope
- 2.0 References
- 3.0 Definitons, Abbreviations and Acronyms
- 4.0 General Requirements
- 5.0 Health and Safety Issues in Seed Sampling
- 6.0 Planning Sampling Activities
- 7.0 Sampling Equipment and Procedures
- 8.0 Sealing of Seed Lots of Seed Lots
- 9.0 Marking and Tagging the Seed Lot
- 10.0 Lot Homogeneity
11.0 Seed Sampling
- 11.1 Preparation for Sampling the Seed Lot
- 11.2 Sampling the Seed Lot
- 11.3 Sampling Seed Packaged in Small Containers
- 11.4 Sampling Containers Greater Than 15 kg
- 11.5 Sampling From Bulk Seed Lots Packaged in Containers of More Than 100 kg:
- 11.6 Sampling Unpackaged Bulk Lots
- 11.7 Sampling the Retained Sample
- 11.8 Sampling Seed Lots in Multiple Package Sizes
12.0 Sampling for Specific Purposes
- 12.1 Marketplace Surveillance Samples (MPF, MPI, MPN, MPP)
- 12.2 Compliance / Complaint Samples (COM)
- 12.3 Investigation Samples (INV)
- 12.4 Samples for the Issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates (EXP)
- 12.5 Samples for Monitoring AE Samplers (AES)
- 12.6 Samples for Monitoring AE Seed Testing Laboratories (AEL)
- 13.0 Obtaining the Submitted Sample
- 14.0 Sample Submission Form
- 15.0 Packaging, Sealing and Submission of the Sample
- 16.0 OECD Certification Documents
- 17.0 Seed Laboratory Roles
- Appendix I: Approved Sampling Equipment
- Appendix II: Sampling Intensity
- Appendix III: Weights for Submitted Samples
- Appendix IV: Seed Program Codes Used by Inspectors
- Appendix V: Sample Submission Form (CFIA/ACIA 5160)
- Appendix VI: Checklist for Sampling for Domestic and Blue International Seed Sample Certificate Purposes
- Appendix VII: Checklist for Sampling for Issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates
- Appendix VIII: Sample Sizes for Inspector Conducted Purity Analysis for Marketplace Monitoring of Crop Kinds in Grade Tables I-VI and XVIII
- Appendix IX: Application for Seed Analysis Certificate for Export Purposes (CFIA/ACIA 1113)
- Appendix X: OECD Tags
- Appendix XI: Domestic Tags
- Appendix XII: Orange International Seed Lot Certificate
- Appendix XIII: Blue International Seed Sample Certificate
- Appendix XIV: Variety Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 0006)
- Appendix XV: Variety Certificates - Meets EC Rules and Standards (CFIA/ACIA 0007)
- Appendix XVI: Seed Inspection Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 1118)
- Appendix XVII: Bulk Pedigreed Seed Tag (CFIA/ACIA 0067)
- Appendix XVIII: Adhesive Patching Label (CFIA/ACIA 0013)
- Appendix XIX: Pedigreed Seed Declaration (CFIA/ACIA 0051)
- Appendix XX: Approval Process for Automatic Samplers
This version of the Official Seed Sampling Specific Work Instruction (SWI) was issued January 23, 2014.
The contact for this Seed Program SWI is the Senior Specialist, Seed Standards, Seed Section.
This Seed Program SWI is subject to periodic review. Amendments will be issued as needed so that the SWI continues to meet current needs.
This Seed Program SWI is hereby approved.
Director, Field Crops and Inputs Division
The most current version of this document will be maintained on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency external web site. The signed original will be maintained by the National Manager, Seed Section.
The certification of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors for seed sampling verifies the competency of staff to obtain official seed samples and facilitates national consistency. This certification also enables continued accreditation by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) of CFIA's seed testing laboratories and their ability to issue ISTA certificates, thereby facilitating seed exports.
This Seed Program Specific Work Instruction (SWI) outlines the procedures for sampling seed for the purpose of obtaining a representative sample of a seed lot. Proper sampling technique is necessary for an accurate estimation of seed lot quality. To be practical and effective, testing and verification must be conducted on a timely, accurate and uniform basis. Sampling for export certification, marketplace surveillance, verification of automated samplers, and complaints and investigations must be conducted by certified samplers (official seed samplers). Quality System Procedure (QSP) 132.4 Official Seed Sampler Certification provides details on the certification process.
This SWI is intended to be used:
- by inspectors, who are training for official sampler certification or who are sampling for purposes that do not need to be performed by an official seed sampler;
- by CFIA samplers who are certified;
- in all cases when CFIA official samples are drawn;
- as a reference for all quality system documents with a seed sampling component.
The publications referred to in the development of this SWI are those identified in Seed Program Regulatory Authority (SPRA) 102 References for the Seed Program, QSP 132.4 Official Seed Sampler Certification, QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of OECD Seed Schemes and the EU Seed Directives, International Rules for Seed Testingpublished by the ISTA and the ISTA Handbook on Seed Sampling.
3.0 Definitons, Abbreviations and Acronyms
The definitions set out in the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations apply. Some are repeated here for ease of reference. Others have been modified for the specific purposes of this document.
The definitions in SPRA 101 Definitions for the Seed Program, the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations, the ISTA International Rules for Seed TestingChapter 2, QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives, QSP 132.4 Official Seed Sampler Certification and the following apply to this document:
- Authorized importer
- An establishment that is authorized to import seed and in respect of which a registration as an authorized importer under Part IV of the Seeds Regulations is in effect.
- Composite sample
- Sample formed by combining and mixing all of the primary samples taken from the seed lot
- Not being relatively uniform.
- Being relatively uniform; in the case of a seed lot, the lot will be as uniform as practicable.
- An employee of the CFIA who is designated as an inspector pursuant to Section 13 of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act.
- ISTA Rules
- International Rules for Seed Testing
- Investigation sample
- A sample which may be used as evidence in a court case and for which the continuity of evidence must be maintained. This has also been referred to as a legal sample in the past.
- Lot designation/number (unique identifier)
- Set of numbers, letters or symbols that singly or combined uniquely identifies the seed lot. In the case of seed graded with one of the Canada Registered or Canada Foundation grade names, includes the pedigreed seed declaration number
- Mini-bulk containers
- A container that holds 250-2000 kg of a seed lot. These containers may hold pedigreed seed that is not sealed if at an establishment registered as a bulk storage facility
- Official seed sampler
- An employee of the CFIA who is designated as an inspector pursuant to Section 13 of the CFIA Act and who is trained, evaluated and certified as a seed sampler
- Primary sample
- A small portion taken from the seed lot during one single sampling action
- Retained sample
- A sample that represents the seed lot and is drawn by or under the authority of the person responsible for the seed lot according to appropriate sampling methods, clearly identified to crop kind, variety and lot number and stored in a manner that retains integrity
- Sealed (seed lot and/or sample)
- The container or individual containers in which the seed that is held is closed in such a manner that the containers cannot be opened to gain access to the seed, without either destroying the seal or leaving evidence of tampering
- A system for closing packages such that they are sealed
- Seed sample container
- Those types of containers that maintain the integrity of the sample
- Static bulk lot
- A quantity of seed moved from the original storage container to facilitate the drawing of an official sample. This quantity of seed is temporarily stored in a conveyance bin such as a truck box, railway car, trailer.
- Stream sample
- A primary sample obtained from the entire cross-section of a moving flow of seed using an automatic sampler or an approved manual sampling tool that passes completely through the seed stream.
- A portion of the composite sample obtained by mixing and dividing the composite sample by an approved method.
- Submitted sample
- A sample submitted to a seed testing laboratory. It may comprise either the whole or a sub-sample of the composite sample.
- Untampered sample
- A sample that has been drawn in accordance with approved sampling and/or mixing and dividing methods and which has not been examined, altered or tested in any manner.
- Working sample
- A sub-sample taken from the submitted sample in the laboratory and used for the quality analysis or other tests.
3.2 Abbreviations and Acronyms
- Authorized Exporter
- Authorized Exporter Program
- Association of Official Seed Analysts
- Below grade, out of tolerance
- Below grade, within tolerance
- European Council
- European Union
- Higher voluntary standard
- Job Hazard Analysis
- International Seed Testing Association
- Laboratory Sample Tracking System
- Meets the labelled grade
- Material Safety Data Sheet
- Not finally certified
- Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Personal protective equipment
- P & G
- Purity and germination
- Quality System Procedure
- Seed Program Regulatory Authority
- Sample Submission Form
- Seed Science and Technology Section, Saskatoon Laboratory
- Specific Work Instruction
- Variety verification
- Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System
4.0 General Requirements
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.
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:
- the thoroughness of the blending of the seed lot from which the sample is drawn;
- the sampling equipment;
- the care used in drawing the primary samples;
- the care with which a number of primary samples drawn from several containers are mixed to form a composite sample representing a seed lot;
- 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.
5.0 Health and Safety Issues in Seed Sampling
Health and safety are of paramount concern in any seed sampling situation. Managers and supervisors have the responsibility to verify that all inspection staff receives the appropriate level of health and safety as well as transportation of dangerous goods training for the work duties assigned.
Appropriate safety procedures and precautions must be followed at all times when sampling. The sampler needs to be instructed on how to access any OHS and WHMIS publications, Operations Safety Manuals and the Job Hazard Analyses (JHA) that apply to the tasks performed. When sampling, the sampler must always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a hard hat, approved work boots, goggles, hearing protection, gloves and respirator.
The sampler needs to be aware of and refer to the JHA for safe work procedures, hygiene practices, personal protective equipment/ clothing and safe work practices.
5.1 Sampling of Seed
If the appropriate precautions are not exercised, seed sampling can be hazardous. Health and safety training provided to the sampler will instruct him/her to abide by the following requirements:
- advise establishment owners/operator of his/her presence and area in which the sampler is working and when s/he expects to leave the premises;
- enquire about potential hazards, emergency response plan/ exits and location of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs);
- verify that s/he is aware of the fumigation schedule of the warehouse and allow sufficient time to pass after fumigation before sampling. The sampler must read product labels and consult the MSDS for the insecticide, fumigant or other chemicals used in the warehouse to determine what safety measures to follow in the event of an emergency;
- exercise caution when sampling or when working in an area where there is treated seed (Section 5.2 provides further details);
- use explosion proof flashlights since dust can easily be encountered in inspections;
- never attempt to move bags/containers of seed. The sampler is to request that the owner/operator move the seed lot such that it will be stable, accessible and safe to sample. Alternatively, the sampler needs to request that seed be removed from the storage container so that a representative sample may be taken;
- request that the seed lot be moved when the seed lot is in bags stacked such that the top row cannot be reached. The sampler must never climb the bags of seed;
- be aware of and avoid electrical hazards;
- be aware of lighting hazards. Lighting should be at least 500 lux for sampling to take place;
- be aware of moving vehicle hazards such as forklifts. The sampler must watch for moving equipment and give this traffic the right of way at all times;
- exercise caution when sampling from bins, railcars and trucks;
- use proper techniques when carrying equipment and when using sampling equipment; Exercise care to reduce risk of injury when sampling using double tube triers and when cleaning sampling equipment;
- carry a cellular phone, when possible, when sampling.
5.2 Handling Treated Seed
Treated seed must be handled according to procedures outlined in the WHMIS Manual and the local JHA document.
5.2.1 Handling Seed Samples Treated with a Pest Control Product
When a person draws a sample of seed which has been treated with a pest control product, care must be taken to minimize the risk of unnecessary exposure to the treatment product. The sampler must take the appropriate precautions as set out on the pest control product label (which should be attached to the seed container) and the WHMIS Manual, as well as the following:
- wear protective clothing, e.g., coveralls, gloves, a mask that provides suitable protection;
- wear a respirator equipped with air filters approved for pesticide use if prolonged exposure is expected;
- documentation for the purposes of identifying the sample (e.g., labels, Sample Submission Form [SSF]) must not be placed inside the sample container;
- the sample must be identified as a treated sample. The name of the treatment product must be stated on the SSF, which is available on LSTS (Appendix V). The sample container must also carry sample and treatment identification;
- a sample of treated seed must be placed in an inner cloth bag or envelope. The sample container must be closed securely and sealed. The container must be placed in a plastic bag and securely closed.
After sampling treated seed lots, the following precautions must be observed:
- wash hands and face;
- never smoke, drink or eat prior to washing hands and face;
- lean sampling trier and other sampling equipment;
- avoid consuming food or drink in plant or office areas exposed to treatment products;
- verify that respirator air filters are replaced within the recommended time period suggested by the manufacturer.
5.2.2 Handling Seed Samples Treated with Inoculant
The sampler must follow the instructions below:
- the sample must be identified as inoculated. The common name or brand name of the product used must be stated on the SSF;
- if the sample is dusty, it must be placed in an inner durable paper or cloth bag or envelope. The container must be closed securely and sealed. The sample container must then be placed in a plastic bag and securely closed.
6.0 Planning Sampling Activities
Any sampler obtaining samples for a complaint or for the issuance of an ISTA certificate or report of analysis from a CFIA laboratory must make every effort to respond to a request for sampling within a reasonable timeframe (72 hours).
The drawing of samples for moisture determination should be timed so that the seed is delivered to the laboratory by courier within 24 hours of sampling and so that it does not arrive at the laboratory on a holiday. In addition, oilseeds, such as flax, rapeseed, mustard, radish or soybeans must not be sampled for moisture testing in a timeframe that there is any chance that the sample will arrive at the laboratory for testing on a Friday as the test requires a 17-hour drying period versus a 2-hour drying period for other crop kinds.
6.1 Reference Information Needed by the Sampler
References needed by the sampler to obtain a representative sample are specified below. The sampler is responsible for verifying that the documents s/he is using are up-to-date.
- QSP 132.4 Official Seed Sampler Certification
- QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives
- Seeds Act
- Seeds Regulations
- OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification
- List of Varieties Which are Registered in Canada
- ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing Chapter 2
- Seed Science and Technology Section (SSTS)
- EU Directives:
General site to link to the consolidated versions (click on EU legislation)
- Operations Safety Manual
- OHS Representative
- Job Hazard Analysis
- Available locally at inspection office or laboratory
- CFIA - Accredited Laboratories
- Canadian Methods and Procedures for Testing Seed
7.0 Sampling Equipment and Procedures
7.1 Principles when Sampling with Manual Instruments
The equipment listed in Appendix I must be used for drawing official samples including export samples. This appendix lists the triers and sizes that are approved for the crop kind being sampled. Only triers designated as approved for sampling in Appendix I may be used.
When selecting the appropriate trier for sampling:
- the trier must not select or separate seed during sampling, due to seed size, shape density, chaffiness or any other quality trait;
- it must not damage the seed being sampled.
Each primary sample is obtained by passing the sampling equipment through the seed once. Each trier or pass of the sampling equipment is one primary sample.
When selecting the appropriate trier for sampling, the sampler should consider the species being sampled, the size and type of the containers. When sampling containers, all positions inside the container must be accessible.
Appendix I specifies appropriate trier sizes for each crop kind. The principle on which the trier size is based is that the width of the opening should be not less than two times the diameter of the seed (diameter meaning the longest part of the seed) for sampling. At no time is it permissible to use a trier that is smaller than that specified in Appendix I for the species being sampled unless the sampler provides evidence to the laboratory that the width of the opening is, at a minimum, two times the diameter of the seed.
There are triers with single or multiple chambers and also combination types. These instruments may have more than one opening (slot/hole). The sampler must check the trier and other equipment for cleanliness before use.
The sampler must state the type and size of trier or the method used for sampling on the SSF (Appendix V). When the trier used is smaller than that specified in Appendix I for the species being sampled, the sampler must provide evidence that the width of the opening is, at a minimum, two times the diameter of the seed on the SSF.
7.2.1 The Nobbe Trier
This trier is a pointed tube with an oval opening near the pointed end. This trier is relativity compact and small, making it easy to transport. The risk of contamination is low as the trier is easy to keep clean. If sampling from the end of the bag, the trier must be long enough that the opening (slot/hole) reaches the centre of the bag. If sampling from the side of the bag, the trier must reach the opposite side.
A Nobbe trier is suitable for sampling free-flowing seed in bags (legumes, timothy, rapeseed, mustard) but not in bulk. It may only be used horizontally. Its use is limited to penetrable containers.
22.214.171.124 Procedure for Nobbe Trier Use
The sampler must use the following procedure when sampling with a Nobbe trier:
- the trier is inserted gently into the centre of the bag with the trier opening facing downwards;
- the trier is inserted into the bag upwards at an angle of approximately 30 degrees to the horizontal:
- when sampling from the end of a container, the opening of the trier must reach the centre of the container. The trier is inserted as close to the bottom edge of the container as possible (i.e., below the stitching that seals the end of the bag to achieve the 30-degree angle);
- when sampling from the side, the opening of the trier must reach the opposite side of the container. The trier is inserted at the bottom edge of the container such that the 30-degree angle is achieved;
- the trier is then rotated through 180 degrees, bringing the hole to face upwards;
- the trier is withdrawn:
- when sampling from the end, with decreasing speed so that the quantity of seed obtained from successive locations increases progressively from the centre to the side of the container;
- when sampling from the side, with a constant speed;
- the trier should be gently agitated as it is being withdrawn to help maintain an even flow of seed. The trier must not be agitated without withdrawing it;
- each primary sample must be placed into a suitable clean container(s) (pan, pails) to allow for checking for uniformity prior to adding to the previously drawn primary samples.
7.2.2 Double Sleeve Trier
This type of trier is suitable for sampling seed in bags, large containers or in bulk as is the case of sampling containers that are 100 kg or greater such as, mini-bulk containers or in static bulk lots of both small or large seeded crop kinds. This trier may be more suitable for drawing samples from the bottom rows of palletized containers that are stored at floor height than a Nobbe trier. This trier consists of a hollow tube with a close fitting inner tube such that seed cannot slip between them. A handle is fitted to the inner tube so that it can be twisted inside the outer tube. The outer tube has a solid pointed end. Openings (slots/holes) are cut into both the inner and outer tubes. The trier consists of:
- multi-openings without partitions; or
- multi-openings with partitions.
The opening in the inner tube can be opened and closed by turning the inner tube until the openings in the inner and outer tubes are aligned. There is a greater risk of contamination with this type of trier. Care must be taken to verify that all the openings in both the inner and outer tubes are clean.
A double sleeve trier with partitions may be used:
- vertically in both open and closed penetrable containers.
The contents of the entire trier represent one primary sample. A double sleeve trier without partitions may be used horizontally only.
Care must be taken when closing the openings as there is a risk of damaging the seed trapped between the edges of the slots. The risk of damaging the seed can be reduced by slowly closing the openings to the point when resistance is felt.
There is no possibility of varying the amount of seed obtained from the inner and outer part of the container by adjusting the speed with which the trier is withdrawn as the trier draws the same size sample in each sampling action. The trier must always be long enough to reach the opposite end of the container on the diagonal. When sampling the containers vertically, the trier must be partitioned and reach the bottom of the container.
126.96.36.199 Procedure for Multi-Opening Types Without Partitions
This type of trier can only be used horizontally. The following method must be used:
- the trier is carefully inserted diagonally on the horizontal plane into the container in the closed position until it reaches the opposite corner of the container. The outer tube opening must be facing upward. Care should be taken not to push the trier through the opposite corner of the container;
- the trier is opened until the inner and outer openings are aligned and agitated slightly to allow the openings to fill;
- the trier is gently closed (to point of resistance) and withdrawn;
- each primary sample must be placed into a suitable clean container(s) (pan/pail) to allow for checking for uniformity.
188.8.131.52 Procedure for Multi-Opening Types With Partitions
This type of trier may be used horizontally or vertically. If the sampling is done on the horizontal plane, the method for unpartitioned triers is to be used. If the trier is to be used vertically:
- the trier is carefully inserted into the top of the container in the closed position on an angle until it reaches the bottom of the container;
- the trier is opened until the inner and outer openings align and agitated slightly to allow the openings to fill;
- the trier is gently closed and withdrawn;
- the primary sample is placed onto a clean long piece of paper or into a suitable clean container that is the same length as the trier to allow for checking for uniformity.
7.3 Principles of Seed Stream Sampling
When the seed is processed in a closed system and is packed into sealed, marked containers, the primary samples may be taken from the seed stream.
Sampling from the seed stream can be conducted manually or by seed sampling devices. When devices are controlled automatically, they are called automatic seed samplers. Where there are open flow streams, manual sampling from the stream at the end of processing may be the best technique. The advantage to this technique is that each individual primary sample can be examined for uniformity.
For drawing stream samples, these conditions must be met:
- the primary samples are to be taken during the process as the last step before the seed enters the containers which are to be sealed;
- the equipment used for sampling must not select or separate seed during sampling, due to seed size, buoyance and chaffiness;
- the entire cross section of the seed stream must be sampled;
- seed entering the sampling instrument must not bounce out again;
- sampling the flow of the seed stream should be at regular intervals, to the extent practical.
7.3.1 Automatic Sampling
There are many types and designs of automatic sampling devices. An automatic sampling device is to be used and maintained within a seed establishment's quality system. When an automatic sampling device is used for sampling for the purpose of:
- the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates or for sampling under the AEP, CFIA must review and approve the validation system. The inspector may refer to Appendix XX for more details;
- drawing an officially recognized sample by an establishment, the licensed sampler must validate the system and keep records.
7.3.2 Manual Stream Sampling
An appropriate container must run through the entire cross section of the seed stream so that uniform primary samples are obtained. The container must not permit seed to enter and bounce out again. The sampler should draw primary samples at regular intervals. Sufficient primary samples need to be taken to verify that at least the minimum number of primary samples taken is that specified in Appendix II.
The container used for taking primary samples from the seed stream must be designed as follows:
- the opening must be at least two times larger than the largest diameter of the seed;
- the sides of the container must be high enough to prevent seeds from bouncing out;
- it must be of sufficient length to enable the container to cut a complete cross section of the seed stream;
- it must be large enough to prevent any overflow when taking a primary sample;
- it must be such that it can be cleaned properly between seed lots.
7.4 Principles of Hand Sampling
This method can be used for all species but is most suitable for chaffy, non free-flowing grasses where the seed would be damaged by use of a trier, specialty seed (e.g., seed mats, seed tapes), retained samples stored in containers making sampling with use of a trier or divider not practical or where there could be separation and selection of the seed or where there could be separation and selection of the seed.
Examples of chaffy, non-free-flowing grasses include Agropyron, Psathyrostachys and Elytrigia (wheatgrasses), Agrostis (bentgrass and redtop), Alopercurus, Bromus (bromegrass), Dactylis (orchardgrass), Elymus (wildrye), Festuca (fescues), Lolium (ryegrasses), Poa (bluegrass), Native Species such as Anthoxanthum, Arrhenatherrum, Axonopus, Chloris, Cynodon, Cynosurus, Deschampsia, Digitaria, Holcus, Melinis, Panicum, Paspalum, Pseudoroegneria, Trisetum and Zoysia.
All positions inside the seed container must be accessible. When it may be impossible to obtain samples from the lower parts of bags or bins, the seed sampler must request that the containers be partially or completely emptied in order to gain access to all positions of the container. The sampler must be able to reach the bottom of the container.
The following procedures must be followed when:
- open containers are greater than 40 cm in depth; primary samples are taken directly from the open bag which has been emptied sufficiently to allow sampling from all parts of the bag. After sampling, the seed is repackaged into the appropriate container and sealed. This shall be done under the supervision of the sampler when the purpose of sampling is for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates or for sampling under the AEP;
- containers are less than 40 cm in depth; seed presented in this size container permits access to all parts of the seed lot containers. Primary samples are drawn. After sampling, the seed is repackaged into the appropriate container and sealed;
- samples are taken from the seed stream as the container is emptied and refilled into a new container. The procedures for manual stream sampling in 7.3.2 are to be used.
In the case of seed tapes or mats, the container(s) for sampling has to be opened and a sufficient number of units (tapes or mats) or a sufficient part, in the case of a long tape, has to be taken from the container.
7.4.1 Procedure for Hand Sampling
The following method must be used for hand sampling:
- if the sampler is wearing long sleeved apparel, s/he must first verify that the sleeves are sufficiently rolled up so as not to capture seed or otherwise interfere with the sampling process;
- the open hand is inserted through the top of the bag with fingers held tightly together, until the desired depth is reached;
- the hand is then closed with the fingers held tightly together so that few, if any, seeds escape, and the hand slowly withdrawn;
- this process is repeated a number of times in different parts of the seed lot and at different depths, until the required sample size is obtained.
7.5 Other Equipment Requirements
In addition to the approved trier, the following list of equipment may be required:
- supply of suitable tape for patching openings made in the poly, cotton, or paper seed lot containers by the sampling trier;
- pails (2-4) for collecting the primary samples or sheets of long clean paper, "nonstatic" stainless steel or metal seamless scoops, pans/pails are recommended;
- Sample Submission Form;
- note pad;
- pocket light;
- safety equipment, as necessary;
- containers for submission of samples to the laboratory: cotton bags, or manilla envelopes, plastic bags for treated or inoculated seed.
- moisture-proof containers for submission of samples for moisture determination (see Section 184.108.40.206).
7.6 Cleaning and Care of Sampling Equipment
All equipment used for sampling must be thoroughly cleaned before each use, and free from all extraneous matter including crop and weed seeds; disease bodies or spores; any seed parts, chaff, dust and inert foreign bodies; chemical residues such as seed treatments. Triers with residue seed could cause cross contamination of other seed lots or samples.
For the Nobbe trier: The more polished the inner surface of the trier is, the more freely the seed will flow.
For the double sleeve trier, the rough edges and point of a sleeve trier should be occasionally dressed (removing sharp edges) with a file, emery or very fine sandpaper. This will greatly improve its use through jute or poly bags. The sleeves of the trier must fit together tightly. All triers must be undamaged with smooth bores and points.
The method for cleaning will be based on the type of equipment and may be based the purpose and test for which the sample is to be drawn, i.e., treated seed or seed for disease tests.
Recommended cleaning methods are:
- cleaning wipes;
- cleaning solutions, such as hand or dish soap, citric acid, rubbing alcohol or water;
- compressed air;
- the use of bottle cleaning or gun cleaning tools.
8.0 Sealing of Seed Lots of Seed Lots
8.1 Conditions for Sealing the Seed Lot
All containers must be self-sealing or sealed (capable of being sealed). Any seed lot presented for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate, whether the seed is pedigreed or non-pedigreed, must be sealed in tamper-proof containers or be packaged in self-sealing or sealed (capable of being sealed) containers. In the case of seed lots tagged with OECD tags, the seed lot will be deemed to be sealed if the stitching that seals the bag opening also secures the tag to the bag. Seed lots must be sealed in such a manner that if the container is opened, the seal is broken and cannot be reused. This includes seed in bins, bags and mini-bulk bags. The sealing of the seed lot must be conducted by or under the direction of an official seed sampler. The following must be noted:
- when the seed lot to be sampled is packaged in bags, the seed lot must be sealed before sampling (an exception would be any samples that must be taken by hand sampling);
- when the samples are taken from bins, bulk bags or unsealed packages, they must be sealed under the supervision of the official seed sampler immediately after the sample is drawn;
- when the seed is being sampled by an automatic sampler, the container into which the conditioned seed is fed must be sealed.
When sampling for other official purposes (e.g., marketplace surveillance), a pedigreed seed lot must be sealed when packaged in containers capable of being sealed, such as bags. The seed lot will be deemed to be sealed if the stitching that seals the bag opening also secures the tag to the bag.
8.2 Types and Methods of Sealing the Seed Lot
- Snap on Seals.
Snap on seals are made of metal and can be closed by squeezing between the finger and thumb. They should close with a snap sound. These seals are designed to break along the spine as evidence of tampering. As an identifier, there is to be a logo, sign or sequential number printed on each seal. The seal must be applied to the string, tie or stitching so it cannot be removed without destroying the integrity of the seal. The official seed sampler may delegate the attachment of the seals to other individuals under his or her supervision. Care must be taken so that individuals do not gain unauthorized access to the seals.
- Adhesive Patches
(Appendix XVIII) and Tapes and Adhesive Labels. These are used for seed lot identification and can also be used to close the containers or holes made in the containers while sampling. The seal must have strong adhesive qualities as well as special cuts in the label such that it cannot be removed without destroying the integrity of the label, and therefore, the seal. These labels can close, seal and mark the container in one step. The labels should have sequential numbers to identify the containers. These types of labels may not be effective in dusty conditions, on some types of containers (cardboard boxes, woven plastic) and are only effective in specific temperature ranges.
- Self-sealing Containers.
This system is acceptable for seed that is the size of Triticum spp.(wheat) or larger. A self-sealing container (valve-pack) has a sleeve-shaped valve as part of the bag. Once the bag is filled, the pressure of the seed closes the valve inside the bag. To comply with the ISTA Rules, the sleeve must be at least 20% of the width of the bag. If valve-pack containers are used for seed smaller than Triticum, or if the sleeve is less than 20% of the width of the bag, the bag is not sealed. A direct sealing method must be used to seal the bags such as, sealing tape, a label, a patch, by gluing the mouth of the bag or sealing with a metal clip.
Sealing by Stitched Label.
The method of sealing by sewing a single line of stitching through the label (e.g., tear resistant labels, an OECD tag, or adhesive label) and closing the bag or adhesive labels, which must be glued directly onto the container, can only be used when the official seed sampler has control of the tags. A tag inventory must be kept. Care must be taken to verify that the stitching does not perforate any of the information on the label. If there is evidence that there is a second line of stitching that was not within the official seed sampler's control, the stitching must be sealed with a metal seal if the seed lot is for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate.
The container must be also sealed by use of metal seals or non-removable adhesive labels, where there are only company tags stitched onto the containers, provided all the containers in the seed lot are uniquely identified by a lot designation/number, if the seed lot is for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate.
- Hermetically Sealed.
Containers which cannot be opened without causing damage to the package may be regarded as sealed without undertaking any additional sealing. These may be paper bags or boxes that are closed with glue on all sides, sealed tins, sealed bottles (not screw top types) or heat sealed foil packages. These containers must have a printing design on the package which would indicate if part of the original container is missing. These types of containers are difficult to sample as they are destroyed in sampling. The repackaging of these containers must be conducted in the presence of the sampler.
- Tie / Strip Seals.
The tie/strip seals are usually made of plastic. They are closed by drawing the end through a self-locking device which prevents it from being opened without destroying the label. When a tie/strip is identified with a logo or sign approved by the ISTA accredited laboratory, it could become a seal.
- Stapling of Labels on Stitched Bags.
This method of sealing may be used when the company has stitched the containers closed and then staples the labels onto the bags, provided that all the containers in the seed lot are uniquely identified. This method of sealing is not acceptable for sampling for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate as well as not acceptable for the EU.
9.0 Marking and Tagging the Seed Lot
9.1 Lot Designation/Number
The marking of a seed lot must include a lot number/designation unique to the seed lot being sampled. It is the sampler's responsibility to verify that all containers in the lot are labelled with the unique lot number.
If seed lots of non-pedigreed seed are sampled by ISTA Rules for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate, the company must assign a unique lot number to the lot and mark or label each container in the seed lot with that unique lot number; a CDN number is not assigned by the CFIA to non-pedigreed lots with Orange International Seed Lot Certificates.
If OECD tags (Appendix X) are affixed to the seed lot containers, a Seed Inspection Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 1118) must be completed (Appendix XVI). The number printed on the Seed Inspection Certificate becomes the lot number preceded by the prefix CDN and the province code (e.g., CDN 9- 54321). The procedures in QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives must be followed for completion of the forms and tags.
The identification of the seed lot may be printed directly onto the container or onto tags or labels which may be stitched, tied, or glued onto the containers. Certified seed lots stored in bulk are exempt from the requirement to be sold in fastened, tagged packages, provided the provisions of section 37 of the Seeds Regulations are met.
Indelible ink must be used in the printing and stamping of labels. If there is a change to the identification of the seed lot, one of the following must be carried out:
- remove the tag and affix a new tag,
- glue a new tag over the original tag, or
- cross out the incorrect information and add the correct information or secure a sticker with the correct information over the old information.
- lot number;
- net quantity of seed by weight or numerical count;
- name and address of the seller, packager or labeller;
- name of the crop kind;
- name of the grade of the seed; and
- variety name, if applicable.
Please see the Seed Label Verification Form for complete labelling requirements.
9.2 Types of Labels
- Tear - Resistant Labels
These labels are made of tear-resistant material and are tied or sewn to the container.
- Adhesive Labels
These labels must be affixed directly onto the container. They must have strong adhesive qualities and special cuts so that they cannot be removed without being destroyed. These labels should only be used on smooth or non woven materials.
- Preprinted Labels
These labels are printed directly onto the bag with the lot number and additional lot information is printed onto the label during the filling of the bag.
- Bulk Pedigreed Seed Tag
The Bulk Pedigreed Seed Tag (CFIA/ACIA 0067) (Appendix XVII) is an official tag for bulk pedigreed seed.
9.3 Tagging the Seed Lot
If tags are affixed to each container in a seed lot, the sampler must verify that the information on the tag or label corresponds to all the documentation.
9.3.1 OECD certified tags
When a seed lot for export is to be tagged with OECD tags (Appendix X) and /or requires the issuance of a Variety Certificate (Appendices XIV and XV), the procedures set out in QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives must be followed including application of maximum seed lot sizes. The species and variety must be listed in the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification.
It is the sampler's responsibility to verify that the variety to be exported with OECD tags is listed on the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification.
If the variety is not listed on the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification, the sampler must communicate that to the exporter and have the exporter contact either the Canadian Representative of the variety (for registered varieties) or the Form 300 Applicant (for Form 300 Certification varieties) to resolve the matter. The Canadian representative (or the Applicant in the case of Form 300 varieties) of the variety must send the request to add the variety to the National Designated Authority of the country in which the variety is maintained. For Canadian registered varieties the request should be sent to the CFIA's Variety Registration Office (VRO) at VRO-BEV@inspection.gc.ca. For crop kinds not subject to registration in Canada and going through the the Canadian Seed Growers' Association (CSGA) Form 300 Certification process in Canada, requests to add the variety to the OECD list should be directed to the CSGA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that there are instances when varieties under examination for variety registration in Canada or another OECD country may be tagged with OECD Not Finally Certified tags prior to the addition of the variety to the OECD List of Varieties Eligible for Certification; please contact the Seed Section at email@example.com for assistance in this scenario.
When the company prints the tags and seals the lot prior to sampling, the sampler must verify the sealing and that all information printed on the tags is correct on every container.
When OECD tags are affixed to a seed lot, the official seed sampler assigns the lot number. A numbered Seed Inspection Certificate is completed (Appendix XVI). This number, along with the province code prefixed by CDN, comprises the lot number, e.g., CDN 8-54321. The sampler must leave a copy of the Seed Inspection Certificate with the owner/operator at the time of sampling. The province codes are described in QSP 152.1Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives.
When a seed lot must be labelled according to EU Directives, the crop kind must be listed in an EU directive and the back of the OECD tag must bear the month and year that the seed was sealed. As a result, seed sampling may only take place if the date on the tag is the same month/year as the date of sampling or a month/year prior to the date of sampling. If the OECD tag bears a future date, the sampler must defer sampling until that future time or require that the OECD tags be corrected. Tags may be corrected manually or by applying a sticker over the incorrect date with the correct date. Corrections are to be made by the establishment and witnessed by the sampler.
It is the sampler's responsibility to verify that the species labelled according to EU Directives and bearing the 'meets EC Rules and Standards' claim is in fact listed in the EU Directives.
9.3.2 OECD Not Finally Certified Tag
The Variety Verification (VV) samples for seed lots labelled with "not finally certified" (NFC) tags are coded as VV (Appendix IV). Maximum lot sizes do not apply to OECD NFC seed lots. Since OECD NFC lots are generally very large and sampling of these lots by ISTA Rules may not be practical, it is acceptable to obtain the VV sample for OECD NFC lots from the retained sample originally drawn by the RSE's sampler. Alternatively, the sample may be drawn from the lot using ISTA Rules (without application of maximum lot size) if desired.
The VV samples are submitted from OECD seed lots for official storage for possible post-control testing. The official seed sampler must refer to QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives for more details.
9.3.3 Other Tags
There are cases in which pedigreed seed will not have a CDN number such as specialty lines, unregistered varieties. Occasionally, seed is exported with Canadian domestic tags. Appendix XI provides these tags. If seed lots for ISTA testing are non-pedigreed seed, the company must assign a unique lot number and mark or label each container in the lot with a unique lot designation/number. The official seed sampler's responsibility in both situations is to verify that all the operations are conducted in accordance with the ISTA Rules. Each container in a seed lot of non-pedigreed seed must be sealed with a metal seal or adhesive label.
9.3.4 EU Directives
When the client requests that the seed lot be labelled as meeting EC rules and standards, the standards of the appropriate European Council Directive must be met. The official seed sampler must refer to QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives for direction. If the crop kind presented for sampling is not listed in the EU Directive, it cannot be labelled or tested in accordance with the EC rules and standards but may still be eligible for export to the EU.
10.0 Lot Homogeneity
When the seed lot is being sampled for any purpose (including export certification, marketplace surveillance, complaint/compliance sampling, investigations, etc.) the primary samples representative of the seed lot must be checked for uniformity. Paragraph 7(1)(a.1) of the Seeds Regulations requires that the seed be appropriately mixed, blended and processed so that it is as uniform as practicable. Indicators of seed lot heterogeneity may be:
- different types or sizes of containers;
- different labels or labelling information;
- different types of seals.
When blended seed lots are presented for sampling, there should be documentation regarding the origin and about the mixing and blending of the seed lots. Upon request from the sampler, the owner of the seed lot is required to provide full information regarding the bulking and mixing of each seed lot sampled. If the establishment cannot provide appropriate documentation to support the homogeneity of the seed lot, sampling should be refused.
The contents of each trier or handful etc. are known as a primary sample. During sampling, the sampler must keep each individual primary sample separate from the previously drawn primary sample. The sampler must assess the primary sample for uniformity before combining the primary sample with other primary samples drawn. Uniform primary samples are combined to produce the composite sample.
Uniformity can be assessed by:
- verifying that the species is the kind presented for sampling;
- verifying the colour, size and shape of the seed are uniform within and between each primary sample;
- the amount of chaffy material is uniform within and between each primary sample;
- the presence of visible impurities appears uniform throughout the seed lot.
If the primary samples are not uniform:
- the sampler should refuse to submit samples for export certification when there is definite evidence that the seed lot is not reasonably uniform. The sampler must refuse to sample the seed lot, until appropriate corrective action has been taken;
- when sampling for other official purposes (e.g., marketplace surveillance), the sampler must submit the sample and note the evidence of heterogeneity on the SSF (Appendix V). The seed sampler should take steps to determine the source of the heterogeneity and take appropriate compliance and/or enforcement actions.
11.0 Seed Sampling
This section applies for all seed lot sampling. Special requirements for sampling for the purpose of the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate are included and indicated in bold text.
11.1 Preparation for Sampling the Seed Lot
The sampler must:
- communicate with the operator, grower, owner/manager of the establishment regarding the number of seed lots for sampling and their location in the warehouse;
- verify that the seed lot is fully accessible for sampling, subject to the exceptions provided in Section 11.5;
- refuse to sample when a seed lot:
- is not labelled;
- labelled for export only (Seeds Regulations, subsection 5(2)) unless an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate is requested or an official certificate of analysis from a government laboratory is requested;
- the seed lot is being sampled for an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate and exceeds the maximum lot size;
- there is evidence of tampering of the seed lot.
Evidence that the seed lot has been tampered with includes:
- tags stapled to containers that contain other tags with contradictory information;
- tags contain information contrary to that printed on the container;
- torn tags or tags that appear to have been reused;
- bags are sewn once to close and another line of stitching is used to attach the tag;
- containers with broken seals.
The ISTA Rules state the maximum lot size which can be represented by a single sample and an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate. The seed lot cannot exceed the maximum lot size stated. If the seed lot does exceed the maximum lot size, the seed lot will have to be broken down into seed lots of a size that meet the lot size requirements. Both the ISTA Rules and the EU Directives allow a 5% tolerance on the maximum lot size. For example, if the maximum lot size is 10,000 kg, the seed lot may not exceed 10,500 kg.
- the crop kind for sampling;
- that the seed lot is labelled with a unique lot designation/number;
- that all containers in the seed lot are identified with the lot designation/number;
- that all containers are labelled with lot number, net quantity, name and address of the seller, packager or labeler, crop kind, grade name, and if applicable, variety name. If tags are affixed to a seed lot, the sampler must verify that the information on the tag corresponds to all the documentation. For the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate, when the company prints the tags prior to sampling, the sampler must verify that all information printed on the tags is correct on every container;
- the size of the seed lot to determine the sampling intensity. There are no maximum lot sizes for domestic seed lots or OECD NFC lots;
- that the seed lot is sealed whether the seed is pedigreed or non-pedigreed seed when the seed lot is being sampled for issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate. The sampler must verify that the seed lots are sealed in a tamper-proof manner. When sampling for other official purposes (e.g., marketplace surveillance), the seed lot must be sealed when packaged in containers capable of being sealed such as bags of greater or less than 100 kg. The seed lot will be deemed to be sealed if the stitching that seals the bag opening also secures the tag to the bag.
- consult documentation related to the seed lot to verify lot size and identification (e.g., crop certificates, pedigreed seed declarations (Appendix XIX), blending certificates, certificates of analysis).
11.2 Sampling the Seed Lot
The following procedures must be used when sampling the seed lot:
- the sampling intensity must be determined as specified in Appendix II;
- before sampling the seed lot, the appropriate method for sampling based on the crop kind and the packaging of the seed must be selected;
- the seed lot must be sampled using the appropriate technique for the selected method or trier as described in Section 7;
- triers must not be inserted through labels or printed labelling on bags;
- the containers chosen for sampling are selected randomly based on the minimum number of primary samples required to obtain a representative sample of the seed lot;
- if selected containers are stacked on top of one another, sample containers nearest the bottom first and work upward;
- before sampling, ensure that container surfaces are free of debris that may contaminate the seed sample or the seed in the container;
- approximately equal amounts of seed are to be taken from each container sampled, or from each place in the container, or when sampling seed in bulk, from each location sampled;
- There are 400 - 25 kg bags in the seed lot. The seed lot is stored on 10 pallets each containing 40 containers. The sampler should randomly select three containers on each pallet for sampling. The sampling pattern should vary from pallet to pallet.
- When sampling containers more than 100 kg, the primary samples must be drawn, as applicable, from different locations or angles, in each container. In all cases, when sampling a seed lot of up to 15 containers, all containers must be sampled. The same number of primary samples must be taken from each container;
- the container/pail in which the sample is placed as it is drawn must be thoroughly cleaned at the beginning of the sampling procedure and after each sampling operation;
- the contents of each trier or handful, etc. is known as a primary sample. If the primary samples are uniform as described in Section 10.0, they are combined and form the composite sample.
When a sample is being taken for an ISTA certificate and the primary samples are not uniform, the sampler should discontinue sampling, inform the client and request corrective action.
The sampling may be resumed once appropriate corrective action is taken. When samples are being taken for marketplace surveillance and the primary samples are not uniform, the sampler should submit the sample and note the evidence of heterogeneity on the SSF (Appendix V). The seed sampler should take steps to determine the source of the heterogeneity and take appropriate compliance and/or enforcement actions;
- when samples are being taken for moisture testing, the sampler must take the moisture sample as quickly as possible after the completion of sampling as described in Section 220.127.116.11;
- when the composite sample is to be mixed and divided for the submission of the sample to the laboratory, the sample (large seeded crop kinds only) must be mixed and divided by an approved method as described in Section 13.0;
- the sample size submitted to the CFIA laboratory must meet the minimum quantities set out in Appendix III;
- if the sampler is conducting a purity analysis, the minimum sample sizes for examination and screening must be those indicated in Appendix VIII;
- the submitted sample must be forwarded to the laboratory in a timely manner;
- the sample must be stored in such a manner that the integrity and quality of the sample are not placed at risk. The sampler is to be in possession of the samples at all times. Samples for testing should never be left in the hands of the regulated party, except samples for export that are sealed in a tamper-proof manner by the CFIA sampler for shipping by the applicant;
- the container in which the submitted sample is to be placed must be labelled with:
- the inspection sample number;
- crop kind;
- variety name, (for all pedigreed seed; vegetables);
- lot number (must be stated for all pedigreed seed and OECD sampling);
- date of sampling;
- signature of the sampler;
- the sample must be sealed as described in Section 15.2.
A Checklist for sampling for Blue International Seed Sample Certificates and domestic purposes can be found in Appendix VI. A Checklist for sampling for issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates can be found in Appendix VII.
11.3 Sampling Seed Packaged in Small Containers
When sampling seed packaged in containers of less than 15 kg for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate:
- the requirements set out in the ISTA Rules Chapter 2 must be followed. Containers must be combined to form sampling units not exceeding 100 kg. Seed tapes or seed mats, each with equal or less than 100,000 seeds can be combined to sampling units not exceeding 2,000,000 seeds;
- the sampling units must be regarded as containers for determining sampling intensity (Appendix II). The number of sampling units is always rounded up when there is a fraction;
Number of containers x the size of each container / 100 kg = Number of sampling units
the original containers must then be resealed or the seed placed into new containers, marked and labelled by the establishment under the supervision of an official seed sampler.
When sampling seed lots in containers smaller than 15 kg for other purposes:
The principles set out in the ISTA Rules Chapter 2 should be followed. In cases in which the integrity of the packaging will be altered at the retail level such as tins, packets, paper bags or moisture-proof containers, a sufficient number of containers must be opened and sampled until a sample of a sufficient size is obtained. The original containers must then be resealed or the seed placed into new containers by the establishment. In the case of small packages of herbs, vegetables and lawn and turf grass mixtures, a sufficient number of sealed packets should be taken as a sample.
If sampling of small packet (SPK) seed is requested by the Seed Section in the I-memo, the sampler must refer to the I-memo for specific sampling instructions.
11.4 Sampling Containers Greater Than 15 kg
For seed lots packaged in containers of up to or less than 100 kg in size, the sample must be obtained from sealed, labelled containers.
Each sealed container containing seed (e.g., poly bag, paper bag, tins, cartons, etc.) is considered to be a unit for determining the number of containers in a seed lot, not the numbers of pallets, etc. on which the seed is stored.
The sampler must verify that the containers selected for sampling, and those adjacent to the container being sampled, are clean and free from debris by brushing or sweeping any extraneous material from the containers and the area before inserting the trier. When sampling, the sampler should start sampling at the bottom of the pallet and work upwards. The sampling pattern should be varied from bottom, middle and top bags on the pallet, and between pallets, thereby reducing the likelihood of the sampling operation causing contamination. To facilitate diagonal sampling of standing bags of up to 100 kg, they must be laid flat. The bags may also be raised off the floor and placed on top of other bags.
The holes in jute or poly bags made by the trier must be closed by running the point of the trier across the hole a couple of times in opposite directions to pull the threads together and close the hole. When the hole cannot be closed by this method, suitable adhesive patching tape/label (CFIA/ACIA 0013, Appendix XVIII) is to be used. Such would be the case with paper bags. The patch must be signed and dated.
11.5 Sampling From Bulk Seed Lots Packaged in Containers of More Than 100 kg:
For seed packaged in bulk containers (mini-bulk bags), whether sampling for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate or marketplace surveillance, the sample must be obtained from the sealed, tagged/labelled container(s) using an approved trier (Appendix I) and sampling intensity (Appendix II) whenever possible.
Samplers wishing to take marketplace monitoring or variety verification samples may encounter situations in which sealed mini-bulk bags are not easily accessible or when sampling may pose a hazard. In these circumstances, there are two options:
- the establishment may make the bags accessible to the sampler; or
- the sampler may sample from the retained sample provided that the retained sample is of sufficient quantity to allow for this.
Industry, through the Canadian Seed Institute, has been advised of the need for increased retained sample sizes when accessibility of mini-bulk bags is an issue.
Note: COM or INV samples must be taken from the bags. Establishments continue to be required to provide reasonable assistance in making bags accessible for sampling for these purposes as required by subsection 6(2) of the Seeds Act.
For Marketplace Surveillance
- at an approved conditioner or bulk storage facility, where the seed is in containers such as a bin, railcar, truck box or a trailer; or
- non-pedigreed seed,
the sample must be taken from the:
- retained sample, if it is an officially-recognized sample, unless there is reason to believe that the retained sample does not represent the seed lot or is not available;
- bin, unless it is unsafe to do so; or
- static bulk lot.
When obtaining marketplace surveillance samples from bins, it may be necessary to find an alternate method of obtaining a representative sample. The sampler must follow prescribed sampling methods and procedures to obtain a sample that represents the lot. If the seed lot is not accessible, the sample may be taken from the retained sample, as indicated above. In addition, the sampler should note the following:
- when sampling a seed lot stored in a bin with a side access door, the sample is obtained using a double sleeved trier;
- when sampling a seed lot from the bottom of a hopper bottom bin:
- withdraw a minimum of 10 kg;
- obtain the laboratory's submitted sample (e.g., 1 kg) using the approved mixing and dividing method as described in Section 13; or
- if an approved dividing method is not available, the composite sample must be placed into a container (e.g., woven plastic bag) that can be sampled using an approved trier (Appendix I) and sampling intensity (Appendix II). For each of the above scenarios stated above or similar situations for the purposes of submission of the official sample, the lot size should be that quantity from which the submitted sample was obtained. The method of sampling should be as specified in Section 7 and the sampling intensities as specified in Appendix II.
When a noncompliance has been identified based on a sample taken using an alternate method, a sample that better represents the seed lot (the seed lot being that which is available on site) must be taken to determine the appropriate corrective action.
11.6 Sampling Unpackaged Bulk Lots
When sampling large lots from the stream or from flat-bottomed bulk bins, the sampler is required to take one primary sample per 700 kg. As there is no limit on domestic lot size or Not Finally Certified (NFC) OECD lots, this may result in extremely large composite samples that are not practical to divide using a riffle divider. In this situation, the sampler should place the primary samples in one or more large bags, mixing the primary samples to the extent possible as they are added to the bag. Once all primary samples are taken, the sampler should treat the composite sample as if it was a seed lot and take an appropriate number of samples for the size of the composite sample, sampling from different angles or locations within the bag(s).
For example, if the composite sample is 98 kg and in one large bag, three primary samples are to be taken. If the composite sample is between 100 and 500 kg, five primary samples are to be taken. These latter primary samples are then mixed and divided using the riffle divider method to obtain a working sample of the correct size. When submitting the sample to the laboratory, the sampler must include a detailed explanation of the sampling method used.
Alternatively, the VV sample for large OECD NFC lots may be obtained from the retained sample originally drawn by the RSE's sampler.
11.7 Sampling the Retained Sample
The method of sampling is to be determined by the sample storage method and the retained sample size at the seed establishment. Approved sampling equipment must be used to obtain the sample as described in Section 7 and Appendix I.
When the retained sample at the seed establishment cannot be sampled by use of approved sampling equipment, the sampler must mix and divide the retained sample of large seeded crop kinds only by using an approved mixing and dividing method as described in Section 13.0. When the sampler can neither draw a sample using approved sampling equipment nor mix and divide the retained sample, the entire retained sample is to be submitted to the appropriate laboratory for testing.
11.8 Sampling Seed Lots in Multiple Package Sizes
Samplers may need to sample a seed lot that is presented in mixed container sizes/types rather than in uniform container sizes/types. Depending on the purpose of the sampling and testing of the lot presented in mixed containers, the following direction should be followed.
11.8.1 Marketplace Surveillance Samples
One composite sample should be taken from the containers of the size/type that represent the largest part of the lot. The sampling intensity applied should be that which is listed in Appendix II for that portion of the lot only.
Example: If a lot is presented in 25 totes of 500 kg and 100 bags of 40 kg, then the part of the lot in totes should be sampled since it is the largest part of the lot; the sampling intensity that is used should be that which is required for sampling 25 totes of 500 kg.
It is assumed that the lot is homogeneous even if it is presented in mixed container sizes/types and that the largest portion of the lot is most representative of the seed that is offered for sale in the marketplace.
If only one container size/type is available for sampling (i.e., if other parts of the lot in different container sizes/types have already been sold), the sampler is only required to sample the part of the lot that is available even though it may not represent the largest part of the lot.
11.8.2 COM and INV Samples
The parts of the lot with different container sizes/types must be sampled separately using the sample intensity listed in Appendix II for each part of the lot. The composite sample for each part of the seed lot must be submitted singly as one sample and must not be combined with composite samples from other parts of the lot. Unique identifiers must be assigned by the inspector to the samples that represent unique parts of a lot; a separate certificate of analysis will be completed for each part of the lot assigned a unique identifier. The link between the samples and the parts of the lot should be reported by the sampler in the Comments section of the SSF.
The number of samples submitted for such a seed lot will equal the number of different size/type groupings of containers that make up the lot (e.g., if the seed lot is in two container sizes, then two samples must be submitted).
In cases in which the seed lot is in containers of one size but there is leftover seed at the end of the lot in a partially full container or a smaller container, this container is to be included in the lot and is treated as being the same kind of container. If the partially full or small container is in a seed lot with different container sizes/types, it should be considered as part of the lot that is in the smallest containers.
The uniformity of a seed lot is a requirement of a 'seed lot' as defined by the Seeds Regulations. The purpose of sampling and testing separate samples for each part of the lot is to enable verification of the homogeneity of the lot by determining whether or not the test results from the various parts are within an acceptable range of statistical variability (a tolerance) with each other. Should the differences between the samples be more than the expected statistical variation (out of tolerance), the remainder of the parts of the lot must be treated as individual lots, be assigned unique lot numbers, and be regraded.
11.8.3 EXP Samples
The ISTA Handbook on Seed Sampling, referenced in the ISTA Rules, states that different types of containers for a single lot may be indicators of lot heterogeneity. For seed lots exported from Canada that require testing according to the ISTA Rules, a CDN lot number must represent a lot of seed presented in uniform container sizes/types. As such, use of multiple container sizes/types for lots to be tested according to the ISTA Rules should not occur.
Should a sampler encounter a lot for ISTA sampling that is presented in multiple container sizes/types, s/he should not sample the lot until the lot is presented properly (i.e., the different container sizes/types are given different CDN numbers).
In cases in which there is leftover seed in a partially full container or a smaller container, this is considered the end of the seed lot and is treated as the same kind of container.
11.8.4 Authorized Exporter Program (AEP) Monitoring Samples
As part of the monitoring of Authorized Exporter (AE) samplers in the AEP, an inspector may be required to sample a seed lot that has been tested by the ISTA Rules or by the AOSA Rules for Testing Seed. The CFIA requires that all seed lots sampled by AE samplers be treated the same, regardless of testing by the ISTA or AOSA rules and, thus, imposes the same sampling requirements for lots tested by the AOSA rules as those tested by the ISTA rules.
Therefore, any lot sampled by an AE sampler and tested by either ISTA or AOSA rules must be presented in one container size and type only. If this appears not to be the case when an inspector is taking AE monitoring samples, s/he should investigate. If it is confirmed that the exported lot was made up of more than one container size, Seed Section should be informed and the AE must put in place corrective measures to prevent recurrence of this error.
Leftover seed in a partially full container or a smaller container should be considered the end of the seed lot and should be treated as being the same kind of container.
12.0 Sampling for Specific Purposes
The seed program code, assigned to a sample submitted to the laboratory, gives direction to the laboratory about the purpose for which it is taken. Consequently, the requirements for submitting the sample may vary. A listing and description of the seed program sample codes used by inspectors can be found in Appendix IV. Specific sample types are highlighted below.
12.1 Marketplace Surveillance Samples (MPF, MPI, MPN, MPP)
A marketplace surveillance sample is one that is drawn from a seed lot that is present at the place of sale or storage. The seed may be pedigreed, non-pedigreed, domestic or imported. Section 15.5.1 provides options for submission of marketplace monitoring samples of large seeded crop kinds (i.e., species in Grade Tables I to VI and XVI to XVIII). When submitting samples for purity and germination testing by SSTS, at a minimum, the quantity specified in column 3 of Appendix III must be submitted, regardless of whether the inspector is conducting a purity analysis on large seeded crop kinds. If a disease test for true loose smut is required, this must be specifically requested on the SSF. Crop kinds listed in Grade Tables VII-XVII and XIX-XX must be tested for P&G by a CFIA seed laboratory.
Should the single monitoring sample indicate a noncompliance with the labelled grade and there is no seed of that lot remaining at the establishment, the inspector should target that establishment in the following year (COM samples) and take appropriate compliance action based on the results of the COM samples. If there is seed of the noncompliant lot remaining at the establishment, the inspector must take enforcement action on the lot.
12.2 Compliance / Complaint Samples (COM)
This sampling is normally done in response to a complaint, to follow-up corrective actions, when there is a suspected non-conformance or to verify compliance. Obtaining a representative sample of the entire seed lot may not be possible. A sample from the available part of the seed lot must be taken using the appropriate approved sampling method and intensity.
The sample is submitted to the applicable CFIA seed laboratory for testing. When submitting Compliance/Complaint samples, a detailed description of the noncompliance as well as any related documentation (e.g., Certificates of Analysis) should be forwarded to the laboratory with the sample.
When Variety Verification (VV) testing is required, an untampered sample of appropriate size must be submitted to the appropriate CFIA seed laboratory (Appendix III). If the VV sample is extracted from the composite sample, it must be mixed and divided as described in Section 13.
12.3 Investigation Samples (INV)
This procedure is to be followed by the sampler when sending a sample to the laboratory which is to be examined or analysed pursuant to an investigation under the Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations when a product is suspected of being out of compliance. The laboratory supplies the supporting analytical data to enforce the regulations. Data generated by the laboratory could support cases of adulteration, economic fraud, presence and level of pathogens, and grade standards not being met.
Investigation samples must be taken by an official seed sampler as follows:
- continuity of evidence must be maintained at all times, i.e., from drawing of the sample to the written release of responsibility by the Seed Section, Operations or Enforcement and Investigation Services. The sampler must keep the sample and all relevant materials in his presence or locked in a secure cabinet/locker. All keys must be kept by the sampler. This continuity must be maintained until the sealed package containing the seed sample and relevant documentation is shipped to the laboratory by courier;
- when submitting investigation samples, a detailed description of the investigation as well as any related documentation (e.g., Certificates of Analysis) should be forwarded to the laboratory with the sample;
- the sample is submitted to the applicable CFIA seed laboratory for testing. It is recommended that the sampler contact the supervisor of the laboratory unit prior to sending an investigation sample to inform them of the impending sample. The sampler must clearly address the package to the laboratory unit to which it is destined and clearly label it as an investigation sample.
12.3.1 Required Information for Investigation Samples
The following information must be recorded on the SSF:
- time/date and place the sample was taken;
- number and type of sample containers and nature of the sample, e.g., seed envelope containing 1200 g of soybeans;
- tests that are required;
- identification of the origin of the sample, e.g., lot designation/number;
- a detailed description of the issue should be forwarded to the laboratory with the sample, when possible.
The sample is to be labelled with the appropriate information to identify it (at a minimum, that stated in Section 15.3) and relate it to the SSF.
12.3.2 Sealing and Shipping Procedures for Investigation Samples
Prior to submitting an investigation sample to the laboratory, the inspector must verify that:
- both the inner container and the outer container are sealed as indicated in Section 15.2, so that no unauthorized opening can occur without detection;
- the package is addressed to the laboratory designated to conduct the tests. The specified authorized laboratory contact person must also be indicated to facilitate maintenance of the continuity of evidence;
- the outside of the package is clearly marked "Seed Investigation Sample" and "To be opened only by addressee";
- the package is shipped by courier so that there will be a record of receipt by the authorized laboratory personnel.
12.4 Samples for the Issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates (EXP)
Samples taken for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates are subject to the procedures set out in the ISTA Rules Chapter 2. Such samples can only be taken by individuals recognized by ISTA-accredited member laboratories. CFIA seed laboratories are ISTA-accredited member laboratories. The laboratory accepts samples from inspectors/seed samplers who have been certified to take samples for ISTA sampling.
When obtaining samples for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates, the sampling prescriptions laid out in the ISTA Rules Chapter 2 must be followed. The ISTA Rules are amended annually. The rule amendments are effective in January of each year. The laboratory will forward the rule changes electronically in a PDF file to each official ISTA seed sampler.
The ISTA Rules are not standards or legislation that state the requirements for purity, germination and freedom from stated species that the seed lot must meet. They are methods and procedures for conducting the sampling of the seed lot and testing of the seed sample.
It is a requirement that the method of sealing be stated on the Orange International Seed Lot Certificate. Therefore, the sampler must state on the SSF what method of sealing was used, e.g., stitched OECD labels, a metal seal.
Samplers are to invoice the requesting party for sampling services.
12.5 Samples for Monitoring AE Samplers (AES)
Samples taken for monitoring AE samplers must be taken by an official seed sampler from a lot previously or concurrently sampled by the AE sampler. The AES samples are submitted to the SSTS for P&G testing only, and not VV, moisture or disease testing. Appendix III provides the quantities required for each species. The name of the authorised exporter sampler must be included on the SSF in addition to the other information described in Appendix V. There is no need to conduct a purity examination of the sample before submitting it to the laboratory.
12.6 Samples for Monitoring AE Seed Testing Laboratories (AEL)
Samples taken for monitoring AE seed testing laboratories must be taken by an official seed sampler, normally from the unexamined portion of a sample previously analysed by the AE seed testing laboratory. The inspector must provide the laboratory with a written, dated and signed notice that CFIA has removed part or all, of the sample from the laboratory. The documentation should include the private laboratory's sample/test number, the crop kind, variety (if applicable) and any other information pertinent to the sample.
The AEL samples are submitted to the SSTS for P&G testing only and not VV, moisture or disease testing. Appendix III provides the quantities required for each species. The name of the AE seed testing laboratory must be included on the SSF. There is no need to conduct a purity examination of the sample before submitting it to the laboratory.
13.0 Obtaining the Submitted Sample
The composite sample is frequently too large and must be reduced to obtain the sample for submission to the laboratory. This latter sample is known as the submitted sample.
Sample reduction by appropriate mixing and dividing methods is a requirement so that no more variation than what would be expected in simple random sampling is introduced.
If separate sub-samples from one seed lot are required for different tests (e.g., purity and/or germination, disease, or VV), these sub-samples must be taken by:
a. sampling the seed lot again, using the same approved sampling method and intensity for each sub-sample required; or
b. mixing the entire composite sample (large seeded crop kinds only) using the approved mixing and dividing method (riffle divider) to obtain each sub-sample required; or
c. submitting the entire composite sample to the seed testing laboratory as directed by the laboratory.
The samples or sub-samples should be submitted to the appropriate CFIA laboratory on a timely basis. The sampler must state on the SSF (Appendix V) if the sample has been mixed and divided. All sub-samples must be sealed as indicated in Section 15.2. Samples should not be left unprotected and should not be exposed to moisture, heat or direct sunlight.
13.1 Mixing and Dividing Method for Large-Seeded Crop Kinds
The riffle divider method is the approved mixing and dividing method for those kinds listed in Grade Tables I to III, V and VI, and XVIII. When the sampler is required to mix and divide a composite sample of these kinds, this procedure must be followed.
The divider consists of a hopper with attached channels or ducts, a frame to hold the hopper, four receiving pans and a pouring pan. Ducts or channels lead from the hopper to the collecting pans, alternate ones leading to opposite sides. The size of the channels of the riffle divider must be a minimum of two times the largest diameter of the seed being mixed and divided. This divider is suitable for most kinds of seeds, including pulse crops.
13.1.1 Riffle Divider Method for Mixing Large Seeded Crop Kinds
The composite sample must be removed from the container in which it was placed in such a manner that all seeds are retained. Therefore, if the composite sample is in:
a. a cloth bag, carefully remove the contents and turn the bag inside out and check the seams for seeds. Seed with barbs, awns, hairs etc. may adhere to the bag or become caught in the seams;
b. containers (e.g., pails), carefully remove contents and check for seeds adhering to the sides and bottom of the container.
The entire composite sample should be placed into a clean pail/seed scoop or one of the riffle divider collection containers.
Caution: Care should be taken when mixing and dividing pulses crops such as peas and soybeans as the impact of the seed in the pan may cause seed breakage.
The sampler must use the following procedures for the various phases of mixing/dividing using the riffle divider:
a. verify that the divider and four collection pans/containers are clean. Before each use, check all channels, joints and seams of the divider and collection pans to verify there are no seeds or other plant matter present;
b. place the riffle divider on a firm, level clean surface;
c. two clean empty containers are to be placed under the channels to receive the seed;
Placing the Seed into the Divider for Mixing
d. pour the whole sample into the divider by running the collection pan/ container backwards and forwards along the edge of the divider so that all the channels and spaces of the divider receive an equal amount of seed;
e. the two full containers must be replaced with two clean empty containers;
Mixing Process Now Begins
f. the contents of one full collection pan/container are to be poured into the divider by holding the long edge of the pan against the long edge of the riffle hopper and then rotating the bottom up so that the seeds pour across all channels at the same time; followed by the other full container using the same procedure. This process of mixing the entire composite sample must be repeated a minimum of three times before successive halving begins;
Dividing to Obtain the Sub-Samples for Submission to the Laboratory
g. the contents of one full collection pan/container are set aside. Empty collection pans/containers are placed under each outlet, and the contents of the other collection pan/container is poured into the hopper by holding the long edge of the pan against the long edge of the riffle hopper and then rotating the bottom up so that the seeds pour across all channels at the same time;
h. continue the successive halving process until a sub-sample of not less than the minimum weight required is obtained;
i. if the sub-samples do not meet the required size, the set aside portions can be recombined and passed through the divider as necessary to obtain the required weights of the sub-samples for submission as long as the full amount of the set-aside portion is used. It is incorrect to further subdivide a sub-sample by spooning or pouring off or weighing out a portion from the collection pan. Only a pass through the riffle divider may be used to reduce the sample size at any step;
j. continue this process until all the required sub-samples are obtained, e.g., sub-sample for the purity and/or germination and/or VV;
k. verify that the divider and containers are clean after each mixing operation. Check all channels of the divider, the joints and seams and verify that the collection pans are clean.
13.1.2 Care and Handling of the Riffle Divider
The riffle divider must be placed on a firm, level surface and be kept and stored in a clean, dry environment. The sampler must verify that the divider and the collection pans/ containers are not damaged. The divider or the collection pans must not be banged together to clean nor tools such as mallet, hammer or knife used to clean them. Whenever possible, compressed air should be used to clean the divider and collection containers. If the divider is being transported, it should be packaged in a padded box or carrying case so that it will not be damaged. If the divider or collection pans are dirty or oily, they can be washed with warm water and mild detergent. The divider should be dried thoroughly with a soft lint free cloth that will not leave any residue on the equipment and left to dry at least overnight.
13.2 Method for Small-Seeded Crop Kinds (Grade Tables IV, III-XVII and XIX-XX)
The entire composite sample must be submitted to the laboratory. To reduce the risk of cross contamination (which is greater with small-seeded species), the laboratory must conduct all mixing and dividing operations and submit any required sub-samples to the appropriate testing laboratories. The sampler must state on the SSF what tests are required.
13.3 Types of Sub-Samples
The following are the types of sub-samples routinely taken by a seed sampler. When requests to sub-sample for other purposes are received, the seed sampler must consult, as appropriate, with the Area Program Specialist and/or the CFIA seed laboratory.
13.3.1 Sub-Sample for Variety Verification (VV)
Varietal verification tests are performed to verify that the pedigreed seed has maintained its original purity and identity during multiplication, conditioning and marketing. This program for variety verification testing of pedigreed seed is necessary to fulfill Canada's obligations to the OECD Seed Schemes and is a vital check on the Canadian seed certification system.
The levels of monitoring for variety verification are:
- all seed lots labelled with OECD tags are to be sampled;
- seed lots of Foundation, Registered seed and Certified seed-only seed lots for which there are concerns regarding the purity or identity of variety should be sampled. Direction for sampling will be given through Seed Section. These samples are to be designated VV on the SSF. The sampler should indicate in the Comments section of the SSF any additional information deemed necessary;
- a specified percentage of seed lots from fields that were inspected by licensed crop inspectors are to be sampled. Samples may be taken by official seed samplers, if requested, or may be supplied by the authorized seed crop inspection service;
- Samples may be requested for specific projects identified in the I-memo from year to year. Samples submitted for these projects should be clearly identified to link to the I-Memo item or project.
The VV sample should be drawn from the seed lot or taken from the composite/submitted sample as indicated in Appendix III. When this is not possible, the sample may be taken from the retained sample as described in Section 11.5. The following identification information must be included: crop kind, variety name, grower's name, crop certificate number, lot number and seed program (e.g., licensed crop inspector, I-Memo project, OECD).
Samples to be tested under the OECD Schemes must be identified with the complete CDN lot number, including the province code. If a seed lot is re-labelled or re-fastened, the previous reference number must also be mentioned. The sampler must refer to QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives for further details. The SSF must fully document all the information.
Each shipment of samples must be accompanied by a list organized by the crop kind and variety, the sampler's number, OECD reference number or seed sealing number. The sampler's number and CDN lot number must also be stated on each sample. If there are ten or fewer samples in a shipment, there is no need to prepare the list, provided a copy of a SSF is enclosed for each sample.
18.104.22.168 Sample Submission Form for VV Testing
For technical reasons, samples for VV testing may not be entered into the LSTS system. Inspectors are requested to print blank SSFs from the system and complete them by hand.
22.214.171.124 Submission of Samples for VV Testing
For sample sizes, addresses and deadlines for submission, the sampler must refer to Appendix III for further details. To submit samples for VV testing, the sampler must use the following method:
- either, the seed lot must be sampled as described in Section 11 to obtain the VV sample or the composite sample must be sub-sampled (large seeded crop kinds only) following the approved mixing and dividing method to obtain the sub-sample as described in Section 13;
- the seed lot information must be fully documented on the SSF. A copy of the SSF must accompany each sample.
126.96.36.199 VV Sample Containers
The seed for VV samples should be enclosed in good quality manilla envelopes or clean unused cotton bags. Envelopes containing small grass seeds and legumes such as timothy, bluegrass, bentgrass, clovers, bird's-foot trefoil and alfalfa should be taped with masking tape (not scotch tape) or official sealing tape to avoid escaping and mixing of seeds. Samples of beans and peas should be enclosed in clean unused cotton bags. All samples must be sealed.
The sample container must be labelled with: crop kind, complete variety name, crop certificate number (if Canadian origin), or establishment lot no., grower's name or dealer where sampled, inspection sample number, date of sampling and signature of the sampler. All samples must be properly sealed (Sections 8.2 and 15.2). Samples should then be packed in strong cardboard boxes to avoid damage during transit.
Samples to be tested for VV under the OECD Seed Schemes must be identified with complete reference number, including the country code. If a seed lot is re-labelled or re-fastened, the previous reference number must also be mentioned. The sample submission form must fully document all the information. The sample must be labelled as described in Section 14.3.
13.3.2 Sampling for Moisture Test
Sampling for moisture must not be conducted when it will result in the sample being in transit over a weekend or a holiday, as the moisture test must be initiated as soon as possible after sampling. In addition, oilseeds, such as flax, rapeseed, mustard, oilseed radish or soybeans must not be sampled in a time-frame that there is any chance that the sample will arrive at the laboratory for testing on a Friday as the test requires a 17-hour drying period versus a 2-hour drying period for other crop kinds.
188.8.131.52 Sampling Requirements for Moisture Test (Oven Test)
The sample for moisture determination must be obtained immediately after sampling by:
- mixing the entire composite sample, by either stirring the sample in its container with a spoon or placing the opening of the original container against the opening of a similar container and pouring the seed back and forth between the two containers. This procedure must be done as quickly as possible in order to minimize the loss or gain of moisture during the mixing and sub-sampling operation. The sampler must take a minimum of three sub-samples with a spoon from different positions in the container until the minimum sample size in Appendix III has been obtained.
- the official seed sampler must quickly place the sub-samples into a moisture-proof container which, at minimum, is labelled with the lot number or inspection sample number. The moisture-proof container must be strong enough to prevent spillage or leakage of the seed. The sampler must verify that moisture-proof container has as much air as possible is removed and the container is closed in such a manner that no moisture can escape or air can enter.
Suitable moisture-proof containers include:
- non woven plastic (heavy weight plastic bags with a sealing top), re-sealable plastic bags;
When zip-lock bags or whirl-top bags are used, they are not considered moisture-proof if just zipped or the ends of the wired ties twisted together. As much air as possible must be removed and the top of the bag must be folded over at least twice and then taped all around the top (securing the entire folded opening) with official sealing tape or masking tape (not scotch tape);
- polyethylene, or foil packages that can be hermetically sealed. Polyethylene, or foil packages must be hermetically sealed immediately after filling;
- tins or glass bottles with an airtight top. If tins or glass bottles with an airtight top are used, they must be filled to the top and the entire lid secured with official sealing tape or masking tape.
The moisture-proof container, containing the sample for moisture testing, must be placed into a clean unused cotton bag. Samples for moisture determination must be labelled as described in Section 15.3. All samples drawn for moisture determination must be sealed (Section 15.2). The moisture sample must not be enclosed inside the sample container containing the seed for the other test(s) (e.g., purity or germination), as this destroys the integrity of the sample for the latter test(s).
A SSF (Appendix V) must accompany the sample. When more than one sample (e.g., purity and/or germination) from the same seed lot is being submitted to the same laboratory, only one SSF is required. The samples can be attached and sealed together as indicated in Section 15.2.
13.3.3 Requirements for Sub-Sampling for Disease Test
Note that to avoid concerns about contamination, triers and riffle dividers need to be disinfected between each sampling and mixing operation.
The seed lot must be either:
- sampled by the same approved sampling method as was used to obtain the composite sample for purity and/or germination as described in Section 7; or
- the entire composite sample (large-seeded crop kinds only) is to be subdivided using the procedure in Section 13.
A sample of a sufficient size as described in Appendix III must be taken for submission to the laboratory.
The sub-sample for testing should be placed into a clean unused cotton bag or manilla envelope which has been labelled with the required information as described in Section 15.3. The sampler must not enclose the sample inside the sample container containing the seed for other test(s) (e.g., purity, germination, moisture) as this destroys the integrity of the sample for those tests. All samples drawn for disease testing must be sealed as indicated in Section 15.2. An SSF must accompany the sample. If more than one sample (e.g., purity and/or germination) from the same seed lot is being submitted to the same laboratory, the samples can be attached and sealed together as indicated in Section 15.2, and only one SSF is required.
13.3.4 Sampling at a Private Seed Testing Laboratory
In order to conduct monitoring of AE laboratories, a seed sampler may be required to visit a private seed testing laboratory for the purposes of obtaining a sample and the related documentation. Sampling at a private seed testing laboratory may also be required at the direction of the Seed Section or the SSTS.
The sampler must:
- request that the laboratory mix and divide the remaining unanalysed portion of the sample using the appropriate method described in the Canadian Methods and Procedures for Testing Seed to provide a sample of a sufficient size for the testing purpose; or
- obtain the entire submitted sample including the laboratory's analysed portions.
The sample taken should be placed into a clean unused cotton bag or manilla envelope which has been labelled with the required information. The sample must be sealed as described in Section 15.2. The sampler must request a copy of the laboratory's report/Certificate of Analysis and all related worksheets. A completed SSF must accompany the sample.
The sampler must provide the laboratory with a written, dated and signed notice that CFIA has removed part or all of the sample from the laboratory. The documentation is to include the laboratory's sample/test number, the crop kind, variety if applicable and any other information pertinent to the sample.
14.0 Sample Submission Form
14.1 Sample Submission Form (CFIA/ACIA 5160) (SSF)
The SSF, found in Appendix V, is available on LSTS and must be completed for each sample submitted to the lab. The form is found on CFIA Applications- LSTS-Submission Forms-Metaframe (LSTS). The instructions for the completion of the SSF can be found in Appendix V. The ISTA Rules require that the sample be submitted to the laboratory in a manner that establishes the connection between the sample and the seed lot. This is facilitated by the completion of the SSF. It is critical that the sampler completes the form thoroughly and accurately. If the form is completed by hand, it must be legible.
The inspection sample number is a very important part of the information on the SSF. For example, 127-07-013-0123.
The following is a description of the number:
- First and second number represents the fiscal year
(e.g. 12 is fiscal year 2012 (April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2012)
- Third number: numerical code for the seed program (always 7)
- Fourth and fifth: the region code
- 04 = New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia
- 05 = Quebec
- 06 = Ontario
- 07 = Manitoba
- 08 = Saskatchewan
- 09 = Alberta
- 10 = British Columbia
- Sixth to eighth: the inspector identification number
- Ninth to twelfth: sequential number representing the cumulative number of samples taken by the inspector in a fiscal year for all sampling programs assigned to that inspector.
When submitting samples of crop types not listed in Schedule I to the Seeds Regulations, the inspector is requested to state the labelled purpose of the seed (i.e., land reclamation, soil conservation, green cover, wildlife grazing or habitat, wetland restoration, landscape/gardening use) on the SSF.
14.2 Application for Seed Analysis for Export Purposes (CFIA/ACIA 1113)
When the client has requested that an official sample be drawn for export testing and the issuance of an ISTA certificate, a completed "Application for Seed Analysis for Export Purposes" (Appendix IX) must be submitted to the laboratory for each sample. The official seed sampler must refer to QSP 152.1 Implementation and Administration of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives for further details.
This form should be completed by the client. The application must clearly state the test(s) required and the specifications the seed lot is to meet. A legislative statement is not adequate (e.g., Argentine Import Regulations) with the exception of European Union (EC Rules and Standards) and Higher Voluntary Standard (HVS). CFIA seed laboratories do not receive or endeavour to obtain the current foreign country seed legislation (rules or regulations). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the specifications required for testing.
15.0 Packaging, Sealing and Submission of the Sample
All official seed samples submitted to the laboratory must be submitted in a sealed tamper- proof container.
15.1 Sample Submission Container
A suitable container for the submission of the sample to the seed laboratory is one that will maintain the integrity of the quality of the sample during transit and any storage of the sample before testing. The minimum size of the sample submitted must be as stated in Appendix III.
The suitability of the sample container will depend on the quality of the seed lot and the types of tests requested:
- when percentage pure seed, germination, purity, other seed counts, variety verification, disease or tetrazolium tests are requested, the most suitable container is an unused clean cloth or good quality manilla envelope. Samples for these tests should never be packaged in plastic bags. The exception is treated seed as indicated in Section 5;
- if a test for moisture determination is requested, these samples must be packaged in moisture-proof containers as described in Section 184.108.40.206.
15.2 Sealing the Sample
Each sample submitted to the SSTS or the Plant Pathology Unit (Fallowfield) must be sealed by the sampler as follows:
- when samples are packaged in cloth bags, metal seals must be affixed to the strings so that the sample cannot be opened without breaking the seal;
- if samples are packaged in paper bags or manilla envelopes, the samples must be sealed by affixing an adhesive patching label (Appendix XVIII) or official sealing tape. The label or tape must be affixed so that the sample cannot be opened without breaking the seal. The label or tape must be marked with the sampler's initials and dated;
- when a) or b) is not possible and samples from the same sampler are packaged in the same container together and submitted to the laboratory in the same shipment, the container into which the samples are packaged must be sealed in a tamper-proof manner such as:
- taping the box and initialling and dating through the tape so that the container cannot be opened without showing evidence that it has been opened;
- placing samples into a courier envelope and sealing; and
- enclosing a statement with the samples that the samples have been in the sampler's possession at all times, that the sampler packaged the samples him/herself into the shipping container and sealed the container.
15.3 Labelling the Submitted Sample
Each sample must be legibly labelled with the following information:
- the inspection sample number;
- crop kind;
- date of sampling;
- signature of the sampler;
- as applicable, variety name (for pedigreed seed of all crop kinds; and vegetable seed);
- as applicable, lot number (must be stated for all pedigreed seed and OECD sampling).
15.4 Accompanying Documentation
The sampler must complete the SSF (Section 14.1 and Appendix V) and forward it with the sample. For samples submitted for the issuance of ISTA certificates, the Application for Seed Analysis for Export Purposes (Appendix IX) must also be completed and submitted.
The official seed sampler must verify that the tags are completed correctly.
15.5 Submission of the Sample to the Laboratory
After the sample has been packaged and identified for submission to the appropriate laboratory, it is necessary to protect the samples and documents during transit. Samples should be packed in sturdy containers, e.g., cardboard box, with packing materials such as newspaper, bubble pack, etc. or other shipping containers provided that the integrity of the sample will be secured.
Samples must not be left in the hands of the client. They must remain in the sampler's possession at all times until they have been securely sealed and packaged for submission to the laboratory, with the exception of samples for export that are sealed in a tamper-proof manner by the CFIA sampler for shipping by the applicant.
Samples should be submitted to the laboratory without delay. If samples cannot be submitted immediately, they must be stored appropriately in a cool, dry secure area. Samples that are not for moisture determination must not be shipped or stored in moisture-proof containers.
Samples for moisture determination can be shipped in the same container as samples submitted for other tests provided the samples are well secured in moisture-proof containers. Sampling for moisture must not be conducted when it will result in the sample being in transit over a weekend or a holiday, as the moisture test must be initiated as soon as possible after sampling. In addition, oilseeds, such as flax, rapeseed, mustard, oilseed radish or soybeans must not be sampled in a time-frame that there is any chance that the sample will arrive at the laboratory for testing on a Friday as the test requires a 17-hour drying period versus a 2-hour drying period for other crop kinds.
Mode of transportation will be at the discretion of the person submitting the sample and will be influenced by the priority of the test(s). When the sample is for the issuance of an ISTA certificate, a moisture test, an investigation sample, or is a high priority, the sample should be shipped by courier or the quickest mode available.
In general, regular mail, priority post, courier, and bus are used. Appendix III provides CFIA seed laboratory addresses and contact information.
15.5.1 Options for Submission of Marketplace Monitoring Samples of Large Seeded Crop Kinds
The following options are provided to standardize the procedures used by inspectors when both requesting laboratory purity analysis results and providing their own purity examination results for marketplace monitoring samples (MPF, MPI, MPN, MPP) of large seeded crop kinds (i.e., species in Grade Tables I to VI and XVI to XVIII). The options are intended to utilize the results of examinations conducted by trained inspectors and to provide support to inspectors when they are in training or have a need for their examination results to be verified. With standardized procedures, inspectors' purity examination data can be correctly incorporated in the compliance statements made for each marketplace monitoring sample. A compliance statement refers to: meets labelled grade (M), below grade, but within tolerance (BWT) and below grade, and out of tolerance (BOT).
For a lot that is below grade, based on the inspector analysed purity test, a sampler can submit a sample for germination testing to SSTS using the COM sample code to facilitate a quick turnaround.
Option 1 (intended for use by inspectors who cannot or choose not to do a complete purity examination independently)
The inspector submits an unexamined sample and requests a purity analysis on the SSF indicating that the sample has not been examined. SSTS' results will be entered in the database and reported on the SSTS laboratory report. The results and compliance statements will be part of the marketplace compliance data.
Option 2 (intended for use by inspectors who want verification of their retrieval and identification of impurities, either because they are in training or have found the retrieval/identification to be difficult, or are having their proficiency monitored)
The inspector submits the sample which they have examined. The impurities that were found must be removed from the examined sample, placed in a well-sealed envelope, and labelled appropriately. The inspector must indicate the impurities and the quantity of seed in which they were found, either on the SSF, or on the envelope. The inspector should also state the quantity examined on the SSF and indicate that the sample submitted is the examined sample. If the inspector requests a purity analysis on the SSF, the laboratory will re-examine the submitted sample to verify that all impurities were retrieved and to verify the identification of the impurities in the envelope. The SSTS laboratory report will show the results in the "Lab Results" section of the report and the identification of the impurities in the envelope will be recorded in the "Lab Comments" section of the report. If the inspector does not request a purity analysis on the SSF, the contents of the envelope will be identified and reported in the "Lab Comments" section of the SSTS laboratory report. The compliance statement on the SSTS laboratory report will be based on the inspector's results and the results as verified by SSTS, as applicable. The compliance statement will be part of the marketplace compliance data.
Option 3 (intended for use by inspectors who are trained to conduct purity examination of the sampled crop kind)
The inspector submits a SSF but does not submit a sample. The inspector provides his purity examination information (i.e., impurities found, the quantity in which they were found, and a compliance statement) in the Comments section of the SSF. No SSTS laboratory report is issued but the sample and the compliance statement are entered in the laboratory's database and will be part of the marketplace monitoring compliance data. If the inspector submits a sample without a request for purity analysis (i.e., may request a germination or true loose smut analysis) and provides purity examination data and a compliance statement in the Comments section of the SSF, the purity result will be incorporated into the sample compliance statement. The sample compliance statement will be included as part of the marketplace compliance data.
16.0 OECD Certification Documents
The final step in the OECD certification process is the issuance of the OECD Variety Certificate CFIA/ACIA 0006 or CFIA/ACIA 0007 (meets EC Rules and Standards) (Appendices XIV and XV). These are to be issued for each seed lot certified under the OECD Seed Schemes. The Variety Certificate CFIA/ACIA 0007 (EC Rules and Standards) may only be used when the tag/label bears the same statement. The Variety Certificate CFIA/ACIA 0006 is to be used for NFC seed. The inspector must verify that all of the information is identical to the information appearing on the tags/labels. The inspector is to complete (type) the form in Desktop eForms, print it, sign it (preferably with blue ink) and date it. The inspector should retain a copy of the certificate and provide the original to the applicant
17.0 Seed Laboratory Roles
17.1 Documentation and Sample Verification
When the samples are received, the SSTS will verify that the sampler is an official seed sampler (when required), the sample is properly sealed and is labelled with the required information, and the documentation has the required information and links to the sample and lot. The SSTS will also verify:
- for testing and issuance of ISTA certificates (Appendices XII and XIII), the submitted sample size, as a minimum, is that stated in the ISTA Rules. If less than the required minimum sample size is submitted, the laboratory will not accept the sample for testing and will require that the seed lot be sampled again;
- the number of containers and the weight of each container equal the declared size of the seed lot. The weight of the lot stated on the application and on the SSF must be the same. Rounding a weight to whole numbers or fewer decimal places is permitted. The laboratory will report the weight of the lot as stated by the applicant;
- the weight of the seed lot does not exceed the permissible lot size in the case of a seed lot sampled for Orange International Seed Lot Certificates. When the seed lot exceeds the maximum lot sizes stated in the ISTA Rules, the laboratory will not accept the sample for testing and will require that the seed lot be broken into seed lots of a permissible size and that each seed lot be sampled;
- the sampling intensity. If the sampling intensity does not meet the minimum requirement stated in Appendix II, the laboratory will not accept the sample for testing and will require that the seed lot be sampled again;
- the type and size of trier used or the method. If the trier is not appropriate for sampling the crop kind submitted, the laboratory will not accept the sample for testing and will require that the seed lot be sampled again;
- the mixing and dividing method used to obtain the submitted sample or that the entire composite sample has been submitted for testing.
17.2 Action Request
The laboratory will issue an "Action Request" when:
- the sample or the documents submitted do not meet the requirements set out in this SWI or the ISTA Rules;
- the information contains discrepancies;
- a document and/or a sample is missing.
The classification of non-conformance and the Sample Submission Action Request form can be found in Appendix IV and V of the QSP 132.4 Official Seed Sampler Certification.
17.3 Laboratory Retention of Samples and Documentation
The inspector should note the following information:
- EXP samples are retained for one year. For information regarding retention periods for other sample codes, the inspector must contact the SSTS;
- documentation is retained for ten years.
Appendix I: Approved Sampling Equipment
- Small - Nobbe or Double sleeve trier with slot size width 8 mm to 14 mm
- Medium - Nobbe or Double sleeve trier with slot size width 15 mm to 19 mm
- Large - Nobbe or Double sleeve trier with slot size width 20 mm or greater
It is not permissible to use a trier for sampling any crop kind that is smaller than that stated in this table unless the sampler provides evidence that the width of the opening is, at a minimum, two times the diameter of the seed. It is permissible to use a larger trier when there is evidence that a representative sample cannot be obtained with trier size provided below.
Crop Kind-Trier (Size)
- Alfalfa - Small
- Alkali grass, weeping - Small
- Artichoke, Cardoon - Medium
- Asparagus - Medium
- Barley - Large
- Bean, broad, garden, faba, field, lima and scarlet runner - Large
- Bean, mung - Medium
- Beet - Medium
- Bent grasses - Small
- Bluegrasses - Small
- Brassica spp. - Small
- Brome grass, meadow or smooth - Medium
- Brome grass, sweet - Large
- Buckwheat - Medium
- Camelina - Small
- Canary grasses (other than reed) - Medium
- Canary grass, reed - Small
- Cantaloupe - Large
- Carrot - Small
- Celery, Celeriac - Small
- Chervil, turnip - rooted - Medium
- Chickpea - Large
- Chicory, cultivated - Small
- Chives - Small
- Citron, Watermelon - Large
- Clovers - Small
- Corn - Large
- Corn salad - Small
- Cowpea - Large
- Cress, garden or water - Small
- Cucumber - Large
- Dandelion, cultivated - Medium
- Dill - Medium
- Dog tail, crested - Medium
- Eggplant - Small
- Emmer - Large
- Endive - Small
- Fescues - Medium
- Flax - Medium
- Foxtails - Medium
- Gherkin - Medium
- Industrial hemp - Medium
- Leek - Small
- Lentil - Medium
- Lettuce, Celtus - Medium
- Lespedeza spp. - Small
- Lupines - Large
- Mangel - Medium
- Medick, black - Small
- Milk - vetch, cicer - Small
- Millet, proso, foxtail or Italian - Small
- Millet, pearl or Japanese - Medium
- Muskmelon - Large
- Mustard, black, oriental or Indian, white - Small
- Oat - Large
- Oat grass, tall - Medium
- Okra - Medium
- Onion - Small
- Orchard grass - Medium
- Parsley - Medium
- Parsnip - Medium
- Pea - Large
- Peanut - Large
- Pepper - Medium
- Phacelia spp. - Small
- Pumpkin - Large
- Radish - Medium
- Rampion - Small
- Rape, forage - Small
- Rapeseed, oil seed rape including canola - Small
- Redtop - Small
- Rhubarb - Medium
- Rye - Large
- Ryegrasses - Medium
- Safflower - Medium
- Sage - Small
- Sainfoin - Medium
- Salsify - Large
- Savory - Small
- Sorghum spp. - Medium
- Sorrel, garden - Small
- Soybean - Large
- Soybean, natto - type - Medium
- Spelt, caryopses - Medium
- Spelt, spikelets - Large
- Spinach, New Zealand - Large
- Spinach - Large
- Squash - Large
- Sudan grass - Medium
- Sunflower - Large
- Swiss chard - Medium
- Thyme - Small
- Timothy - Small
- Tobacco - Small
- Tomato - Small
- Trefoil, bird's - foot - Small
- Triticale - Large
- Vetch, crown or kidney - Small
- Vetches (other than crown or kidney) - Medium
- Wheat, durum - Large
- Wheat, common - Medium
- Wheatgrasses - Medium
- Wild - ryes - Medium
- Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage–Small
- Kale, kohlrabi, rutabaga(swede), turnip - Small
- Spinach mustard, vegetable marrow - Small
- Very chaffy grasses - Hand or stream sampling
- Seed mixtures: forage, lawn and turf, ground cover - Based on size of largest component in the mixture
- For horizontal probing of large containers, Nobbe and sleeve triers must reach to the centre of the container if the container can be probed from both sides.
- Probing of very chaffy grasses in large containers is difficult. Sampling is best done by stream sampling as the container is filled or by hand sampling.
- When sampling kinds other than those in this table, the sampler must refer to Section 7.2 (Paragraph 2) for specific guidance on which trier size to use for such types of seed.
- When sampling vertically, the sampler must use the partitioned trier.
- Hand sampling can be used for all species but is most suitable for chaffy, non free-flowing grasses where the seed would be damaged by use of a trier, specialty seed (e.g., seeds mats, seed tapes) or where there could be separation and selection of the seed.
Appendix II: Sampling Intensity
The sampling intensities listed below are from the ISTA Rules Chapter 2. A representative sample of the seed lot must be obtained as described below.
For seed lots in bags or other containers of 15 kg to 100 kg capacities (inclusively), the following sampling intensities are minimum requirements:
|Lot Size||Number of Primary Samples to Be Taken|
|1 - 4 containers||Three (3) primary samples from each container|
|5 - 8 containers||Two (2) primary samples from each container|
|9 - 15 containers||One (1) primary sample from each container|
|16 - 30 containers||Fifteen (15) primary samples from the seed lot|
|31 - 59 containers||Twenty (20) primary samples from the seed lot|
|60 or more containers||Thirty (30) primary samples from the seed lot|
For seed lots in containers smaller than 15 kg capacity, containers must be combined into sampling units not exceeding 100 kg and the number of sampling units is used to determine the minimum sampling intensity.
When sampling seed in containers of more than 100 kg, or from streams of seed entering containers, the following sampling intensities are the minimum requirements:
|Lot Size||Number of Primary Samples to be Taken|
|up to 500 kg||At least five (5) primary samples|
|501-3,000 kg||One (1) primary sample for each 300 kg, but not less than five|
|3,001-20,000 kg||One (1) primary sample for each 500 kg, but not less than 10|
|20,001 kg and above||One (1) primary sample for each 700 kg but not less than 40|
In all cases, when sampling a seed lot of up to 15 containers, all containers must be sampled, and the same number of primary samples must be taken from each container.
The seed lot is six containers of 1200 kg each.
It is required that one primary sample per 500 kg be taken
7200 kg / 500 kg = 14.4 primary samples which must be rounded up to 15
15 primary samples from 6 containers = 2. 5 primary samples from each container which must be rounded up to 3. Therefore, 3 primary samples must be taken from each container.
Sampling Small Packages
When sampling seed in small packages (for export purposes), the sampling intensities stated in the ISTA rules are applicable. The sampling intensity table for packages up to 100 kg is applicable.
Seed lot size is 2000 kg packaged in 4 kg boxes (500 boxes at 4 kg = 2000 kg)
Combine the containers into units that are 100 kg.
2000 kg / 100 kg = 20 units (Each unit is considered to be a container for sampling purposes)
For sampling purposes, this seed lot is considered to be 20 containers (units) which would require 15 primary samples in total to be drawn.
The seed lot must be divided into 20 units. Each unit will contain 25 boxes (100/4 kg = 25 containers). Fifteen (15) primary samples in total are to be drawn from the 20 units.
Appendix III: Weights for Submitted Samples
At a minimum, the quantity specified for the test(s) requested must be submitted for testing. When the composite sample submitted to the laboratory is for two or more of the following tests in this table, the size of the submitted sample must be, as a minimum, the total of the quantities stated for each test. For grade table XX, the Purity and Germination column (P/G) has been separated into that required for different testing rules (ISTA, AOSA and M&P).
- P / G:
- Purity and/or Germination
- Variety Verification
- International Seed Testing Association
- Association of Official Seed Analysts
- Canadian Methods and Procedures for Testing Seed
Table III.1: Weights for submitted sample weights for crop kinds in Tables I to XIX
|Grade Tables||Crop Kind||P/G |
|I||Wheat (common, durum)||1000||500||100||500|
|II||Barley, buckwheat, emmer, oat, rye, spelt, triticale, lentil, lupine, mung bean||1000||500||100||500|
|II. I||Sainfoin, vetches (hairy, Hungarian, common)||1000||300||100||500|
|IV||Sorghum-sudan grass hybrids||500||125||50||50|
|V||Field bean, bean (broad, horse, tick and faba), chickpea, corn (open-pollinated, synthetic), cowpea, field pea, safflower, soybean, sunflower (open-pollinated)||1000||500||100||2500|
|VI||Corn (hybrid), sunflower (hybrid)||1000||500||100||1500|
|VII||Oilseed rape, canola||100||100||50||50|
|VII||Cultivated mustard (Brassica juncea, Brassica nigra)||50||100||50||50|
|VIII||Proso and pearl millets||150||100||50||50|
|VIII||Cicer milk-vetch, crown vetch, foxtail or Italian millet||100||100||50||50|
|VIII||Red and sweet clovers, alfalfa and Lespedeza spp.||50||100||50||50|
|IX||Alsike, hop, Persian and white clovers, timothy||25||100||50||50|
|XI||Bromegrass (sweet), tall wheatgrass||300||100||50||50|
|XI||Intermediate and pubescent wheatgrasses||225||100||50||50|
|XI||Meadow and smooth bromegrasses||150||100||50||50|
|XI||Slender, streambank, northern wheatgrasses, tall oatgrass||80||100||50||50|
|XI||Various leaved fescue, ryegrasses (annual, intermediate and perennial), wheatgrasses (crested and Siberian), Russian wildrye||60||100||50||50|
|XI||Meadow and tall fescues, Altai and Dahurian wildryes||50||100||50||50|
|XI||Red and creeping red, Chewings, sheep, fine-leaved and hard fescues, meadow and creeping foxtails, orchardgrass, reed canarygrass||30||100||50||50|
|XII||Bentgrasses and redtop (Agrostis species), bluegrasses (Poa species), weeping alkaligrass, crested dogtail||25||100||50||100|
|XIII||Mixtures of forage seeds (kinds listed in Grade Tables VIII to XII)||200||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|XIV||Lawn or turf mixture||200||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|XV||Ground cover mixtures||200||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|XVI||Sugar beet, beet, Swiss chard, mangel||500||100||50||n/a|
|XVII||Cantaloupe, melon, cucumber, gherkin, pumpkin||150||100||50||n/a|
|XVII||Citron, squash, watermelon||1000||100||50||n/a|
|XVIII||Pop and sweet corn, garden, broad, lima and runner beans, garden pea, chickpea, soybean, sunflower and safflower||1000||500||100||1500|
|XIX||Radish, forage rape (except oilseed), spinach mustard, mustard greens, rutabaga (swede)||300||100||50||50|
|XIX||Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collard, kale, kohlrabi||100||100||50||50|
|XIX||Chinese cabbage, turnip||70||100||50||50|
Table III.2: Weights for submitted sample weights for crop kinds in Table XX
|Grade Tables||Crop Kind||P/G |
|XX||New Zealand spinach||1000||500||25||n/a||50||n/a|
- If testing to meet EC Rules and Standards, two times the quantity listed for P&G is required for those species identified in the EU Directives.
- For testing of kinds not listed in this table, refer to Seeds Regulations Section 12.
The address for sample submission for purity and/or germination and/or moisture and/or true loose smut testing is:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Saskatoon Laboratory-Seed Science and Technology Section
421 Downey Rd, Room 301
Saskatoon, SK S7N 4L8
Contact: Section Head
Telephone: (306) 385-4858 Fax: (306) 385-4944
When the sampler is submitting samples for only variety verification, the deadlines for receipt at the laboratory each year for:
- annual crops is April 1;
- grass seed samples is August 31;
- winter cereals is September 15.
The address for submission is:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Ottawa Plant Laboratories (Fallowfield) - Seed Science
3851 Fallowfield Rd, Building 210
P.O. Box #11300, Ottawa, ON K2H 8P9
Contact: Head, Seed Science
Telephone: (343) 212-0507 Fax: (343) 212-0216
Where the sampler is submitting samples for disease testing only, except for true loose smut, the address for submission is:
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Ottawa Plant Laboratories (Fallowfield)
Plant Pathology Lab - Seed Pathology Testing
Floor 2, Room A217, 3851 Fallowfield Rd,
PO Box 11300, Ottawa, ON K2H 8P9
Contact: Head, Plant Laboratory
Phone: (613) 228-6698 Fax: (613) 228-6676
Appendix IV: Seed Program Codes Used by Inspectors
|AEA||Automatic export sampler approval. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler to verify automatic sampler systems that will be used for sampling seed lots for export certification.|
|AEL||Exporter laboratory monitoring. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler for monitoring of the activities of AE seed testing laboratories participating in the AEP to test samples for export seed lots.|
|AES||Exporter sampler monitoring. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler for monitoring of activities of AE samplers participating in the AEP to take samples of export seed lots.|
|BRD||Breeder. A sample received from a plant breeder for testing. Since autumn 2009, this testing service is only provided in unusual circumstances. The current policy is to direct plant breeders to send these samples to accredited labs for testing. Not usually submitted by CFIA inspectors.|
|CAN||Cancelled. A sample whose analysis has been cancelled.|
|COM||Compliance / Complaint. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler in response to a complaint, to follow-up corrective actions, when there is a suspected non-conformance, in response to a sampling request as part of a directed inspection plan or to verify compliance.|
|EXP||Export. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler for the purpose of obtaining an ISTA certificate or occasionally other certificates where the ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing were used for the tests conducted. Samples submitted for purity, germination, variety verification and disease testing for export certification are to be submitted under the EXP code, with the appropriate test requests indicated under "Analysis requested".|
|IAS||Invasive alien species (IAS). A sample drawn by an inspector as directed by the IAS Program for surveillance/monitoring related to the detection of IAS and their pathways in seed or grain related commodities.|
|IDS||Identification. A sample consisting of one or more seeds or plants submitted for identification.|
|INQ||Inquiry. General code for samples for which there is no other code. INQ samples may be submitted by CFIA inspectors or other parties.|
|INV||Investigation. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler once a noncompliance has been verified and an offence has occurred, in order to recommend further compliance measures or enforcement action. Sample handling must be performed according to chain of evidence rules. May lead to prosecution. Sampler should notify the laboratory prior to submitting.|
|IOM||Import Official Monitoring. A sample taken by an official seed sampler from a seed lot imported by a non-authorized importer or an Authorized Importer. These samples are taken to verify that the seed meets minimum grade table requirements (e.g., Common No. 2). Samples taken for confirmation of the labelled grade are taken under the MPI code.|
|IPM||Import Prohibited Monitoring. A sample drawn by an inspector from a lot imported for conditioning. These samples are taken to verify that the sample does not contain prohibited noxious weed seeds.|
|MPF||Marketplace Monitoring - Foreign Grader. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler for confirmation of a grade assigned by an officially recognized foreign grader for which the seed is offered in the marketplace.|
|MPI||Marketplace Monitoring -Imported Seed. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler from an imported seed lot once imported seed is offered for sale. This sample is taken to verify the accuracy of the grading/ labelling of seed.|
|MPN||Marketplace Monitoring - Non-Pedigreed. A sample drawn by an official seed sampler for confirmation of labelled grade of domestically produced non-pedigreed seed which is being offered for sale in the marketplace.|
|MPP||Marketplace Monitoring - Pedigreed. A sample drew by an official seed sampler for confirmation of a labelled grade of domestically produced pedigreed seed which is being offered for sale in the marketplace.|
|OSS||Official Seed Sealing. Samples drawn by an official seed sampler to determine the grade of a seed lot for labelling purposes. Rarely used, and only when an establishment does not have access to a private sector sampler.|
|PHS||Plant Health Sample. A sample drawn by a CFIA inspector to determine weed and/or soil content of imported grain or seed. High priority samples are from lots under detention pending test results. Low priority samples are from lots released into Canada but sampled as part of a survey.|
|PHY||Phytosanitary. A sample drawn by a CFIA inspector for tests in support of a phytosanitary certificate.|
|SPK||Small Packet Seeds. A sample of imported seed packaged in packets not exceeding 1 kg and submitted in fulfillment of the small packet seed survey.|
|SPP||Special Project Program. A sample submitted for special project testing as required by Seed Section.|
|VV||Variety Verification (formerly PoV). Samples drawn for variety verification testing. The sample is assessed for varietal purity and varietal identity.|
- There are no requirements for BRD, IAS, IDS, INQ, PHY, PHS, SPK or VV samples to be submitted by official seed samplers.
- For SPK samples (small packet seeds), sufficient packets of each seed lot must be obtained so that there is a minimum of 5 g per seed lot.
Appendix V: Sample Submission Form (CFIA/ACIA 5160)
Instructions for Completion of the Sample Submission Form
The Sample Submission Form can be found in Desktop eForms for a reference hard copy (this document is intended for internal use).
The SSF is also found on CFIA Applications - LSTS - Submission Forms - Metaframe (LSTS).
The following instructions apply:
- when the sampler makes an error in recording information on the SSF (hard copy), each error must be crossed out (not erased, made illegibly, no whiteout) and the correct information written alongside. All corrections must be initialled and dated. All information must be written in ink;
- when sampling for the issuance of an ISTA certificate, the sampler must state on the SSF what method of sealing was used, i.e., stitched OECD label, metal seal;
- when the sampler is submitting a sample that is treated, the name of the pest control product must be stated;
- when the sampler is submitting a sample that is inoculated, the name of the inoculant product must be stated;
- when the sampler is submitting a sample that is coated or has a component that is coated, the percentage of the coating material and the name of any pest control product/inoculant must be stated;
- the field in the form "# Units Sampled" must be completed with the number of primary samples taken;
- when the trier size or methods for sampling deviate from those stated in this SWI, the reason must be documented on or accompany the SSF;
- when the sample submitted is a seed mixture, the sampler must state the name and percentage of each component, when available, comprising the mixture on the SSF. If this information is not available, it should be stated on the form;
- when the sampler is submitting a marketplace surveillance sample, the information as described in Section 15.5 must be stated on the SSF or an accompanying document;
- when the sampler has mixed and divided the sample, this must be stated on the SSF;
- when submitting samples for Plant Health purposes, the sampler must state on the SSF for what species the sample must be examined, or the specifications must be attached to the SSF;
- the 'Sampled at' field in the SSF should be the physical location of the seed. The 'Vendor' field must be completed if the 'Sampled at' location is not the vendor;
- for marketplace surveillance, the 'Total weight of the lot' means the portion of the lot remaining at the time of sampling and does not include the portions of the lot that have been sold and are no longer remaining;
- in cases where the seed lot is in containers of one size, but there is leftover seed at the end of the lot in one partially full container or a smaller container, this container is to be included as part of the lot and treated as the same kind of container for sampling intensity purposes (Section 11.8);
- the inspection sample number and the name of the sampler on the SSF must link to the inspector number on the CFIA List of Official Seed Samplers. The SSF should be completed, including the date and signature, by the sampler who conducted the sampling.
Appendix VI: Checklist for Sampling for Domestic and Blue International Seed Sample Certificate Purposes
The sampler must:
- communicate with the operator, grower, owner/manager of the establishment;
- verify that the seed lot is accessible. Section 11.5 provides some exceptions;
- verify that there is no evidence that the lot has been tampered with;
- verify that all containers are labelled with lot number, net quantity of seed by weight or numerical count, name and address of the seller, packager or labeler, name of the crop kind, name of the grade of the seed, and variety name, if applicable;
- where tags are affixed to a seed lot, verify that the information on the tag corresponds to all the documentation;
- determine the size of the seed lot in order to establish the correct sampling intensity. There are no maximum lot sizes for domestic product or for issuance of Blue International Seed Sample Certificates;
- verify that the seed lot is sealed whether the seed is pedigreed or non-pedigreed seed. Pedigreed seed lots must be sealed in a tamper-proof manner;
- select the appropriate approved sampling method based on the packaging of the seed and crop kind as specified in Appendix I;
- prior to sampling, triers and equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and the adjacent area surrounding the seed lot must be free of foreign/contaminating material;
- sample according to the sampling intensities specified in Appendix II;
- sample the seed lot using the appropriate technique for the selected trier or method as described in Section 7;
- not insert triers through labels or printed labelling on the containers;
- when drawing samples, take approximately equal amounts of seed from each container sampled, or from each place in such container, or when sampling seed in bulk, from each location sampled;
- thoroughly clean the container/pail in which the sample is placed as it is drawn at the beginning of the sampling procedure and after each sampling operation;
- close the holes in jute or poly bags made by the trier by running the point of the trier across the hole a couple of times in opposite directions to pull the threads together to close the holes. When the holes cannot be closed by this method, suitable adhesive patching tape/labels must be used. The patch should be signed and dated by the sampler;
- check each primary sample for uniformity as to seed lot homogeneity described in Section 10.0. Where there is evidence that the primary samples and/or the seed lot is not homogenous, this must be stated on the SSF;
- combine the primary samples to form the composite sample. The composite sample is submitted to the laboratory (submitted sample) except, in some cases, the composite sample of the large seeded crop kinds may be mixed and divided as described in Section 13.1;
- The submitted sample must be labelled, sealed, and packaged securely for shipment to the laboratory as soon as is practicable (Section 15).
Appendix VII: Checklist for Sampling for Issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates
The sampler must:
- initiate sampling as soon as possible after receiving a service request from the establishment;
- for pedigreed seed, assign the lot number as derived from the Seed Inspection Certificate and provide the lot number to the establishment. At the time of sampling, leave a copy of the certificate with the establishment;
- communicate with the operator, grower, owner/manager of the establishment to determine the number of seed lots to be sampled and their location in the warehouse;
- obtain from the establishment operator the required documents (i.e., crop certificates, pedigreed seed declaration, blend sheets, Application for Seed Analysis, extra tags) to enable sampling to proceed;
- verify that the seed lot is accessible;
- verify that all containers are labelled with kind, variety if applicable, and lot identifier/ number;
- verify that there is no evidence that the lot has been tampered with;
- verify that all portions of the lot are packaged in the same size and type of container;
- when tags are affixed to a seed lot, verify that the information on the tag corresponds to all the documentation. If the back of the OECD tags indicates a month and year of sealing, the sampler must verify that date of sampling does not precede the labelled date of sealing;
- when the seed lot is tagged with OECD tags, the tag must contain all the information as required by QSP 152.1 Implementation of the OECD Seed Schemes and EU Seed Directives. Otherwise, refuse to sample the seed lot;
- verify that the seed lot size does not exceed the maximum lot sizes as stated in the ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing Chapter 2;
- for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate, where the company prints the official tags prior to sampling, verify that all information printed on the tags is correct on every container;
- for seed lots of non-pedigreed seed, the company must mark or label each container in the seed lot with a unique lot designation/number. The sampler's responsibility is to verify that all the operations are conducted in accordance with ISTA Rules;
- verify that all seed is sealed in tamper-proof containers. Containers of non-pedigreed seed must also be sealed with a CFIA metal seed seal, by the sampler or under the direction of the sampler;
- select the appropriate approved sampling method based on the packaging of the seed and crop kind as specified in Appendix I;
- prior to sampling, clean sampling triers and equipment thoroughly and verify that the adjacent area surrounding the seed lot is free of foreign/contaminating material;
- sample according to the sampling intensities specified in Appendix II;
- sample the seed lot using the appropriate technique for the selected trier or method as described in Section 7;
- not insert triers through labels or printed labelling on the container
- close the holes in jute or poly bags made by the trier by running the point of the trier across the hole a couple of times in opposite directions to pull the threads together to close the holes. When the holes cannot be closed by this method, suitable adhesive patching tape/labels must be used. The patch should be signed and dated by the sampler;
- verify that all primary samples drawn from containers or bulk are of approximately equal amounts of seed and each primary sample must be checked for uniformity as to seed lot homogeneity described in Section 10.0;
- clean the container/pail in which the sample is placed as it is drawn thoroughly at the beginning of the sampling procedure and after each sampling operation;
- verify that uniform primary samples are combined to form the composite sample. The composite sample is submitted to the laboratory (submitted sample) except, in some cases, the composite sample of the large seeded crop kinds may be mixed and divided as described in Section 13.1;
- verify that the submitted sample is labelled, (including the tag used in tagging the seed lot sampled) sealed, and packaged securely for shipment to the laboratory as soon as is practicable as described in Section 15;
- draw moisture samples as described in Section 220.127.116.11.
Appendix VIII: Sample Sizes for Inspector Conducted Purity Analysis for Marketplace Monitoring of Crop Kinds in Grade Tables I-VI and XVIII
|Crop Kinds||Purity Examination: |
|Soybean, corn, peas, beans, and species of other genera with similar seed size||1 kg + 4 kg||1 kg|
|Wheat, barley, oats, rye, and species of other genera with similar seed size||1 kg + 4 kg||1 kg|
|Lentils, sainfoin||500 g + 2 kg||500 g|
|Flax, sorghum, canary grass, sudan grass||100 g + 400 g||100 g|
These instructions are intended for the use of inspectors conducting purity analysis of marketplace samples as outlined in options 2 and 3 of Section 15.5.1.
Purity examination under the column for "bulk" 1 kg + 4 kg indicates that 1 kg should be examined for all impurities and 4 kg should be screened and examined for noxious weed seeds.
If a secondary noxious weed is found, additional quantities should be examined to satisfy the standards in the Seeds Regulations Schedule I, Grade Tables. For example, if one wild oat is found in 1 kg of Canada Foundation No. 2 wheat, an additional 9 kg should be examined to determine whether the seed meets the grade standard for a Canada Foundation No. 2 (1 secondary noxious per 10 kg).
All impurities found in the:
- examined purity quantity should be kept in a sealed envelope labelled with, at a minimum, the sampler's inspection sample number, if applicable, the lot number and with an indication that the impurities are from the examined quantity;
- screened quantity must be kept in a separate sealed envelope that has been labelled with the sampler's inspection sample number, if applicable, the lot number and with an indication that the impurities are from the screened quantity.
These envelopes must be placed and stored inside the sample bag, unless they are to be forwarded to the CFIA laboratory under Option 2 of Section 15.5.1 which case, attach the envelopes to the SSF (Appendix V).
Appendix IX: Application for Seed Analysis Certificate for Export Purposes (CFIA/ACIA 1113)
The following is an application to obtain a seed analysis certificate for export purposes:
This form is to be completed by the applicant or his/her designate.
Appendix X: OECD Tags
The following are images of all of the official OECD tags that are used on seed lots to be exported.
CFIA/ACIA 0029 - OECD Certified, 2nd Generation Seed (Red with Black Text)
An OECD Certified, 2nd Generation Seed
CFIA/ACIA 0046 - OECD Pre-Basic Seed (White with Black Text and Violet Stripe)
An OECD Pre-Basic seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0030 - OECD Basic Seed (White with Black text)
An OECD Basic seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0035 - OECD Certified Seed (Dark Blue with Black Text)
An OECD Certified seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0048 - OECD Not Finally Certified Seed (Grey with Black Text)
An OECD Not Finally Certified seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 5346 - OECD Certified Mixture of Herbage Seed (Green with Black Text)
An OECD Certified Mixture of Herbage Seed tag can be seen as follows:
Appendix XI: Domestic Tags
The following are images of official domestic tags placed on seed lots of pedigreed seed:
CFIA/ACIA 0031 - Certified (Light Blue with Dark Blue Text)
A Certified seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0032 - Foundation (White with Black Text)
A Foundation seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0033 - Registered (Lilac with Purple Text)A Registered seed tag can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0034 - Interagency Certification – Foundation and Registered (White with Red Text)
An Interagency seed tag for Foundation or Registered seed can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 5627 - Interagency Certified (Light Blue with Dark Blue Text)
An Interagency seed tag for Certified seed can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0036 - Pedigreed Seed Canada Substandard (Yellow with Black Text)
A tag for substandard pedigreed seed can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0037 - Pedigreed Seed (White with Blue Text)
A tag for pedigreed seed can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0038 - Certified Seed Mixture (Green with Black Text)
A tag for certified seed mixtures can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0039 - Pedigreed Seed Unregistered Variety (Orange with Black Text)
A tag for unregistered varieties of pedigreed seed can be seen as follows:
CFIA/ACIA 0040 - Certified Seed for Export (Blue with Dark Blue Text)
A tag for Certified seed for export can be seen as follows:
Appendix XII: Orange International Seed Lot Certificate
Appendix XIII: Blue International Seed Sample Certificate
Appendix XIV: Variety Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 0006)
Appendix XV: Variety Certificates - Meets EC Rules and Standards (CFIA/ACIA 0007)
Appendix XVI: Seed Inspection Certificate (CFIA/ACIA 1118)
Appendix XVII: Bulk Pedigreed Seed Tag (CFIA/ACIA 0067)
Appendix XVIII: Adhesive Patching Label (CFIA/ACIA 0013)
Appendix XIX: Pedigreed Seed Declaration (CFIA/ACIA 0051)
The following is a link to the Pedigreed Seed Declaration which must be completed each time a lot of seed of pedigreed status is conditioned or graded:
Appendix XX: Approval Process for Automatic Samplers
This approval process is to be used for automatic samplers that are used to obtain samples for the issuance of an Orange International Seed Lot Certificate by SSTS or by a laboratory participating in the AEP.
If the automatic sampling device will be used for sampling for the issuance of Orange International Seed Lot Certificates, the company or applicant must send an application for accreditation to the SSTS.
The application must be accompanied with the section of the company's quality manual dealing with automatic sampling. The section of the manual must include the following information:
- the type of automatic seed sampler;
- the procedures the company intends to use;
- the name of the person responsible for the correct application of the conditions;
- data indicating that the results obtained by this device are similar to other ISTA-approved manual sampling methods;
- the data should include test results for percent purity, other seeds by number and percent germination tests of 10 seed lots. The same ten seed lots must be sampled by the automatic sampler and an ISTA-approved manual sampling method by an official seed sampler.
For approval, it is required that the results for each of the three quality traits of the composite samples should be within tolerances as provided in the ISTA rules in at least 70% of the 10 seed lots tested (7/10). If less than 70% of the seed lots results are not in tolerance, further seed lot sampling and testing must be conducted by the company to achieve at least 70%.
If the application is acceptable, then the CFIA must inspect the automatic seed sampling device at the establishment. Once SSTS provides a recommendation based on test data, approval of authorization is granted by the National Manager, Seed Section.
If all conditions are fulfilled, the automatic seed sampler can be accredited/authorized. The approval, as well as the conditions of the approval, will be communicated in writing.
- The automatic seed sampler must have an uninterrupted duct with the sampler container. The connection between the automatic seed sampler itself and the sample container must be constructed so that the seed cannot remain in the funnel or duct and seed cannot remain in the funnel or duct and seed be added or withdrawn;
- All sections and parts of the automatic seed sampler must be constructed in such a way that they can be cleaned easily and thoroughly;
- The minimum number of primary samples, as prescribed by the ISTA rules (sampling intensity), must be taken;
- The proper adjustment and operation of the automatic seed sampler must be checked prior to operation;
- The adjustment on the automatic seed sampler must be indicated and accessible to the seed sampler;
- During the sampling of the same seed lot, the adjustment of the automatic seed sampler may not be altered;
- The sample container must be identified in such a way that a direct link with the seed lot can be made;
- Records of the use and maintenance of automatic seed samplers must be kept. These records should be maintained in a log book with at least the following information:
- serial number of the composite sample container;
- adjustments to the automatic seed sampler;
- seed lot data (species, lot number and lot size);
- size of the composite sample;
- maintenance activities and date;
- There must be clear operation instructions for the automatic seed sampler;
- Any changes to the installation of the automatic seed sampling device must be documented.
Post Authorization Requirements:
After approval of the automatic seed sampler to support the issuance of ISTA Orange International Seed Lot Certificates or for sampling under the AEP, it must be checked at least once a year. The monitoring must be performed by the approved CFIA-accredited laboratory or the official seed sampler. A comparison of test results from samples taken by the automatic seed sampler and those obtained from the samples taken by the ISTA-approved manual sampling method must be conducted by an official seed sampler and the SSTS which is an ISTA member laboratory.
The inspector retrieves samples from the automatic sampler and probed samples and submits them to the SSTS for verification that the two sets of samples are in tolerance with each other.
In addition to taking samples, official seed samplers should inspect the company's records/books on the automatic sampler, at least annually, to verify that the company is:
- documenting any changes to the installation of the automatic sampler, and
- checking the functionality of the automatic sampler.
- Date modified: