An alternative to the cold test to evaluate maize seed vigor was investigated. The standard germination test, cool germination tests at 12, 15 and 18 degrees C, the cold test were performed for seven maize seed lots and field emergence at one site determined. The standard germination of all lots was >90% and was not correlated with field emergence, but the results of the cool germination test at 18 degrees C and the cold test were significantly correlated with field emergence (r=0.890** and 0.974** respectively). The results of the cool germination test at 18 degrees C were also significantly correlated with the cold test (r=0.828**). These results suggest that a cool germination test at 18 degrees C can be considered as an alternative to the cold test to evaluate vigour differences among maize seed lots.