As the 2018 growing season comes to a close, it’s a good time to evaluate what impact the environment has had on the seed during both the growing and harvest season. It’s important to consider that your seed analyst and disease diagnostician are very much on the front lines again this year – and as soon as your seed gets to the bin, the seed testing story should begin.
At 20/20 Seed Labs, the depth of our experience with seed quality spans many years of capturing critical data, and our analysts begin to put the analysis profile together quickly. We house a goldmine of not only hard statistical data, but also a genuine professional interest in our clients’ best practices and results.
Less-than-ideal conditions across the Prairies have created some challenges for cereal and oil seed quality. Wet grain (a headache) appears to be at the forefront, and needs to be dried carefully to ensure longevity in storage. Not only does high moisture cause heating, clumping, and mold in the bin, but it can cause all sorts of other problems; seed that is high moisture (over 14% for cereals) will deteriorate quickly.
Weedy crops – especially if it’s been a difficult harvest – not only cause storage issues, but will also affect the physical purity of your harvest. A preliminary purity test is not a bad idea before cleaning. Many of the cereal samples 20/20 Seed Labs has received to date need to be analyzed with a colour sorter, or need to be cleaned harder to remove shriveled or green grains. The weeds, ergot, and mold are also principle factors that need to be removed.
Prior to September 12, 2018, germination results were exceptional – but unfortunately due to snow and rain in many areas across the Prairies, yields and grades are dropping. In the lab, we are seeing uneven maturity, fresh or dormant seed due to lack of maturity and sprouting.
Since we had another dry summer disease levels are low, so Fusarium graminearum is not as much of an issue as other storage molds which are now occurring. Careful monitoring of your seed after harvest will be key in ensuring that your product will remain stable in the bin for future use.
Consider a rigorous vigour test early in the season, prior to making important management decisions. Give 20/20 Seed Labs a call: we’re invested in our clients reputation for delivering sound seed.