GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CLASS
The SEED ANALYST 1 performs routine purity, germination, or special tests on field crop, forest tree, vegetable, shrub, flower, or miscellaneous species of seed samples to determine seed quality.
This is the second level of a three-level series. Employees in this class are distinguished from the lower level Seed Analyst Entry employees by a higher competence in seed testing for routine samples, and a basic knowledge of the rules and regulations for seed testing. It is distinguished from the higher level by the absence of responsibility for assigning and reviewing the work of Seed Analyst Entry employees, by a more comprehensive knowledge of seed testing rules and regulations, and by the absence of responsibility for independently performing seed testing on complex samples.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Allocation of positions to this class will depend on the total work performed which may include one or a combination of the duties or tasks listed below.
- Purity Testing. Typical tasks: obtains routine samples (i.e. ryegrass, tall fescue, cereals, or orchard grass) from incoming work basket; assures proper working sample size by use of the seed divider, which mixes and divides gross sample into progressively smaller equal lots; places sample on examination platform at a desk or workbench; visually examines sample under magnification (microscope or other magnifying lens); manually separates sample with forceps or tweezers into components of pure crop seed, other crop seed, inert matter (stones, dirt, leafage, stems, badly broken seed, etc.), and weed seed; identifies each component part found in the examination; weighs each component part of test sample on mechanical or electronic scale; computes percentage part of total sample of each component found; records findings on preprinted test record form.
- Germination Testing. Typical tasks: obtains prepicked routine sample(s) (i.e. cereal grains, tall fescue, orchard grass) from incoming work trays; determines from sample label and preprinted test form the kind of test appropriate to seed type; places required number of seeds in the germination medium in proper container; may treat planted sample with growth stimulating solution; determines proper review cycle for seed type and test and assures that each test tray is properly labeled with date; routes or directly places test tray(s) in cold room for chill test or in lighted or dark germinator as appropriate; reviews germination progress at specified periods to determine number of seeds that have properly germinated, number of abnormal germinants, and number of dead seed, computing percentage of each and recording findings on test record sheet.
- Special Testing. Typical tasks: obtains seed sample from incoming work basket; determines from label and test record form the test required; when procedure requires, cuts or pierces seeds, applies tetrazolium or other staining solution which causes color changes in embryo of live seed, then visually examines under magnification to count number of live seeds in a sample; as required, x-rays seed sample to determine if seeds are empty, insect infested, or have internal or external injury or other abnormalities and reports findings; when appropriate, performs chromosome count on seed parts under high magnification to determine levels of ploidy; determines seed moisture content by evaporation process or by electrical meter; determines the weight of 1000-seed sample; if required, performs technical bioassay tests to detect chemical seed treatment effectiveness; as needed, performs a number of different chemical and physical tests to detect the level of varietal purity in a sample.
- Equipment Operation. Typical tasks: uses technical equipment for seed testing such as seed divider, seed blower, binocular microscopes, x-ray machine, x-ray film developing equipment, florescent (black light) examination booth, germinators, and related equipment; uses hand-held lenses; uses small hand-manipulated tools such as forceps, scalpels, razors, and needles in examination of seed samples; assures cleanliness standards and avoids sample contamination by use of compressed air blowers, towels or brushes, to keep tools and work areas clean; may use standard laboratory equipment in mixing chemical solutions used in tests.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Employees in this classification normally have only incidental contact with people outside the work unit.
Employees in this class receive general supervision from a Seed Analyst supervisor. Work is reviewed as completed for accuracy and completeness. Work is performed in accordance with laboratory policy and specific standards set by State and Federal law, USDA standards, Canadian Seed Test Rules, European Economic Community standards, the International Seed Testing Association rules, the Higher Voluntary Standards of Great Britain, and standards set by the Association of Official Seed Analysts. There are also in-house manuals for seed, pest, or disease identification as well as a laboratory library and herbarium available to the employee.
Positions are primarily found in central and remote locations throughout the state. They require the willingness to work within the environment associated with the position's location.
No attempt is made to describe every duty performed by all positions in this class.
- one year of full-time experience performing purity, germination, or special tests on seeds such as Bluegrass and Bentgrass seeds and training providing the knowledge of AOSA or SCST rules for testing seeds; OR
- a certificate of competency in seed testing from either AOSA or SCST.