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2020 NC Cotton Seed Testing Pilot Program results

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducted a cotton seed testing pilot program during the 2020 planting season. The sampling was conducted by seed and fertilizer field staff with testing conducted in the North Carolina Seed Lab.

The length of time to complete testing of cotton seed samples varied due to workload and COVID-19 response. Even with those issues, sample were completed within a five- to 14-day interval depending on planting date within the lab.

According to the Association of Official Seed Analysts Rules for Testing Seed, warm germ tests for cotton are 12 days and cool test are seven days. In the North Carolina Seed Lab, if germination numbers were in the mid-90s or higher on count #1, the test was finalized. Any other tests finalized earlier than 12 days was due to sample having no more germination potential.

Cotton seed samples were collected during the period of Dec. 30, 2019, through June 9, 2020. NCDA&CS Division of Plant collected samples from 607 cotton seed lots in the state. The cotton seed samples were tested and separated into germination percentages for both warm and cool germination. The following information provides a breakdown of the results:

nc seed lot testingThe results indicated that 97% of 2020 cotton seed distributed in North Carolina had a warm germination percentage of 75% or above.

nc seed sampling results
Based on these results, 87% of cotton seed samples collected in NC for the 2020 growing season had a cool germination percentage of 50 or above.

Stop Sales Issued

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued 13 stop sales due to violations on cotton seed sampled in 2020. The violations were due to the following:

• Germination Test Date Expired- 6 samples

• Germination did not meet the 80% threshold as labeled on the product – 7 samples

View the full NCDA&CS report here.