This summer, the National Conference on Weights and Measures voted to standardize testing methods and procedures to verify seed-count labeling.

The American Seed Trade Association filed a petition to amend Handbook 133 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which includes procedures for testing packages labeled by weight, volume, measure and count. The petition requests that the handbook match the standards of the Association of Official Seed Analysts for testing seed counts when voluntarily stated on the label.

“The manner in which seed is purchased and sold has significantly changed in recent years, and this amendment will help provide regulatory uniformity for seed testing,” says Andy LaVigne, ASTA president and chief executive officer. “This will benefit all of our members and will have a positive impact on seed companies’ and farmers’ bottom lines.”

The amendment, effective January 1, 2011, is specific to corn, soybean, field bean and wheat seed. It is designed to provide uniformity and harmonization of state laws.

This change allows companies to retain their freedom to operate and to comply with regulatory obligations.