AgriTrade 2009: Glyphosate Damage & Peas

I was at AgriTrade in Red Deer, Alberta on Wednesday and I talked Sarah Foster from 20/20 Seed Labsabout how they are finding lower germination results in peas this winter due to glyphosate damage.  It is essential that you test your saved seed before you make any plans on planting.  Planting high quality seed is critical to giving yourself a chance to have success.  If the crop doesn’t germinate you will not have to worry about herbicides or fungicides.  If you you dried down your peas this season and intend to save the seed please get your seed tested at a certified lab.  This is truly a corner that is not worth cutting in the high stakes game of farming. 

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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5 Comments

Ronnie

I do not understand why anyone would ever plant seed and not test it beforehand. Thats the same farmer that will bitch about the cost of certified seed and plant common untested to seed to save a nickel and cost himself a dollar. Lets get into the 21st century people.

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Andy

Or those are the farmers that have bought certified seed and when they get it home it looks worse than their bin run. Might have all its paperwork with it, but that doesn’t mean its better where it counts.

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Andrew

Question to Andy (or to anyone else who has an opinion on this)

What would you feel more comfortable with? Using certified seed that has been tested at a lab and meets all requirements for #1 certified seed but perhaps it does not have the greatest visual qualities or using bin run seed that isn’t tested but has a good visual quality?

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Ronnie

I think there is a simple answer to that Andrew. Visual quality has nothing to do with the germination or vigor affects of the seed. Certified seed is an important part of the seeding process and establishing quality of the Canadian product.

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Andy

I did not mean that good visual quality is of utmost importance. I implied (poorly) importance to yield and plant health. However, rereading it I understand that it is easy to be seen the other way.

That being said, I have seen certified seed that is cracked and ground up -either by way of cleaning or combine settings. Cracked or damaged seed won’t germinate -no matter how many certificates come with it.

What is involved in getting a seed certified #1? What keeps a seed from being a #1?

I don’t see a problem with certified seed (it is necessary for new varieties and propagation) but I don’t see it as important (and possibly a detriment) to get certified seed every year. Stay with me for a while, because I will have to go to a different industry to make my case.

In the forestry industry when they go to replant harvested places, they have to use seedlings or seed that comes from the same microregion. Although there is Lodgepole Pine from the the extreme south of Alberta all the way up into the Peace country, there are differences in these plants based on their locality.

Why should I assume that a certified seed that I may buy from Three Hills or Saltcoats is as well adapted to my region (North of Medicine Hat) as my 5 year old bin run seed of the same variety? I think this is an area of variety production that has not been explored yet. A form of passive selection, in which the ‘strong’ plants within a variety may be different depending on the location. Growing Strongfield Durum for many year, I often wonder if our Strongfield is not better than some grown in other areas of the Prairies -however, only for my specific area.

I have even gone so far as to wonder if crops grown for seed would be better off grown with less fertilizer, passively selecting for plants that are better at nutrient uptake. This would allow for stronger and more productive plants when a full fertility regime would be implemented. We see some evidence of this in that our current cereal varieties are not as mycorrhizal dependent as many of the grasses, or even some of the heritage varieties. This is most likely because current varieties have been bred on high nutrient soils -removing the need for this mycorrhizal infection in uptake of nutrients (mostly P).

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