We’re 1st In Seed Quality. We Can Prove It.

October 4, 2019

Kristin Lawson, Communications Coordinator

If you know anything about 1st Choice Seeds, you’ve seen our slogan: “1st in Seed Quality”. This isn’t just something we added to our catalog or logo for looks, we actually mean it. Can we prove it? Well, that’s something I wanted to investigate, and had the privilege of learning about last month.

I joined 1st Choice Seeds earlier this year, and I’m not a farm girl. The seed industry and agriculture are new to me. I’ve learned a lot so far, but I’m always looking for opportunities to educate myself on the complex business that I am part of. When I heard about the Indiana Crop Improvement Association’s (ICIA) upcoming open house and facility tour, I knew it would be a great opportunity to gain some knowledge about how quality is measured on seed.

ICIA PCR Test

ICIA PCR Test

ICIA is 1st Choice Seeds’ primary third-party laboratory that evaluates the quality of the seed we deliver to your farms. ICIA is a not-for-profit, self-funding organization. They are affiliated with Purdue University; Purdue staff members are on the ICIA board too. The ICIA is accredited by the ISO – they are ISO9001 and ISO/IEC 17025 certified. ASTA, the American Seed Trade Association, is just one of the many groups that the ICIA is a part of.

The ICIA has distinguished themselves as the premier seed laboratory for the seed industry throughout the US. The ICIA’s lab is both a Non-GMO Project approved laboratory and a USDA Accredited Seed Lab. They are a growing organization too – in fact, during our tour, I viewed the new lab space under construction that is set to open soon.

ICIA Trait Confirmation Test

ICIA Trait Confirmation Test

ICIA performs warm germination, cold germination, cold saturation testing, seed count, trait and PCR tests for our company. PCR evaluates if there is an unacceptable % of GMO in conventional seed. What I learned about our seed germination supports why we are “1st in Seed Quality”. Our seed corn minimum warm germination is 95% for all catalog items, most lots are higher. Soybean seed is sold at a minimum warm germination of 90%, or tagged accordingly. Our standards exceed many others in the seed industry.

Claiming to be 1st in Seed Quality is a bold statement. It is one backed up with ICIA’s lab expertise.  During the tour, I viewed seed in the lab and the measure of care, procedures, and attention each lot receives from their highly trained staff. ICIA is the third-party, independent lab that we rely on to confirm the quality of each lot that comes to your farm. These lab reports, for the lots of seed planted by our customers, are always available upon request.

For more information about the ICIA, visit their website at https//www.indianacrop.org/.