A solid foundation – certified seed – is essential to enable agriculture to avail itself of progress in breeding.
The 'Seed Quality' Research Group helps ensure that the Swiss agricultural sector has access to certified seed. We carry out field inspections to ensure the varietal identity and varietal purity of our seed. We also carry out seed-quality testing to verify compliance with the minimum requirements regarding germinability as well as technical purity, and ensure that seeds from undesired species are not spread undetected via the seed. In cooperation with the ‘Ecology of Harmful and Beneficial Organisms' Research Group, organic seed is tested for numbers of spores of seed-borne pathogens such as e.g. common and dwarf bunt.
Agroscope fulfils these two tasks of seed certification and seed-quality testing as part of the enforcement of seed-legislation ordinances. Numerous FOAG-accredited experts support us in the field inspection and sampling at the cleaning sites, and receive further training from us on an annual basis.
Implementation from production agreement to labelling of the sacks is carried out with the aid of the CertiPRO database in collaboration with our propagation organisations. Certified seed ensures traceability and protects both the seller and buyer of seed.
The Seed-Testing Laboratory has been accredited by the ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) since 2000. As a service, seed samples from both domestic and foreign seed-trade companies as well as from Agroscope internal projects are tested according to ISTA regulations.