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For Immediate Release: March 9, 2006

Lynne Richmond

(TRENTON) -- The New Jersey Department of Agriculture provides field inspection, sampling and laboratory analysis of animal feed, fertilizers and liming material sold in New Jersey as well as seed certification and control to guard against mislabeled or substandard products in an effort to ensure the integrity of these products in the marketplace.

Animal feed, fertilizer and liming material label or registration violations found during field inspections and analyses result in those items being removed from sale and, in some cases, fines levied against manufacturers and refunds to consumers.

Farmers who wish to have official samples tested must contact the Department at least 24 hours prior to delivery of the product. They may call or e-mail Janet Stafford at (609) 984-8421 or They also may fax at (609) 984-2508.

The Department’s seed certification and control program protects farmers, vegetable plant growers and plant and flower growers from unfair trade practices and untruthful seed labeling, which can result in the introduction of noxious weeds in crops and higher farm production costs.

Seed germination testing assures growers that the seed they have purchased will perform at the germination percentages specified on the seed labels. Vigor testing is used to differentiate seed lots from each other on the basis of physiology. A seed lot with a good germination percentage might not necessarily be physiologically fit to survive or flourish in less than optimal growing conditions. Vigor tests give farmers the information they need in order to adjust planting times as well as growing and storage conditions.

New Jersey farmers actively engaged in the commercial production of agricultural or horticultural products, but not in business as a wholesale seedsman or seed conditioner, can receive two free germination tests from NJDA each fiscal year (July 1 to June 30).

For more information concerning seed testing or the proper labeling of seed offered for sale in New Jersey, contact Floyd Yoder, Supervisor, Seed Certification and Control, Division of Plant Industry, at (609) 292-5443 or