Delaware Department of

Seed, Grain, & Sod Services

Seed Certification

Plant IndustriesWe conduct the Seed Certification program in Delaware for seed companies and local growers, resulting in the use of higher quality seed for soybeans and small grains in Delaware. The certification process consists of field inspections of the mature crop, sampling, laboratory analysis, and proper labeling through certified seed tags (Title 3 Chapter 15 §1507). Funds collected for certified seed tags and field inspections are placed in an Appropriated Special Funds (ASF) account. The Seed Certification Specialist also collects royalty fees on patented varieties where a royalty agreement is in force (Title 3 Chapter 15 §1507) and enforces the Plant Variety Protection Act (federal law). A portion of the royalty fee collected is paid to the Delaware Department of Agriculture and placed in an ASF account.

Delaware Seed Certification Standards and Procedures

Seed Testing

Two aspects of the program ensure that Delaware consumers are purchasing quality seed:

  1. Enforcement of the Seed Law (Title 3 Chapter 15). Inspectors take official seed samples from stores and test them in our laboratory. Labels on seed packages are also reviewed and compared to the test results.
  2. Seed testing service. Delawareans can bring seed samples into the DDA Seed Laboratory for analysis. For testing, one pound of seed should be submitted in a clean bag labeled with the type of seed and the date it was harvested. Samples are expected to be free of foreign matter, including debris and chaffing from the seed. Unclean samples and samples containing other grains will be subject to a cleaning fee of $30 per sample.
Effective January 2, 2024 Seed Lab Testing Fees

Revenues collected for service seed samples are placed into the State General Fund.


Grain Inspection

Our staff provides grain inspection, training, and grading services to grain mills statewide. We examine and issue two-year licenses to operators who inspect grain in Delaware. All grain mill employees must be licensed, and grain testing equipment must be registered with the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Grain mills are certified annually (Title 3 Chapter 16 – Grain Inspection, Certification, and Grain Contracts).


The license fee per two-year period is $10.00, and the revenues go into the State General Fund.


Cultivated Sod Certification

We conduct the Cultivated Certified Sod Program in Delaware for local growers, resulting in marketable certified or approved sod that is of uniform density, color, texture, free of serious amounts of thatch, weeds, insects, disease, nematode, and other crop plants. The certification process consists of field inspections prior to harvest and proper labeling through certified tags issued by the Department. Funds collected for certified sod tags and field inspection are paid to the Delaware Department of Agriculture and placed in an Appropriated Special Funds (ASF) account.


Contact Us

Kenneth Wilkins, Agricultural Inspector, Grain Inspector
Business Phone: 302-698-4593

Olivia Everett, Environmental Scientist II, Seed Certification Specialist
Business Phone: 302-698-4596

Courtney Kohel, Agricultural Inspector, Seed Lab
Business Phone: 302-698-4590

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