Category: Under the Microscope

Under the Microscope: What to Consider for Last-Minute Pulse Seed Tests

For this episode of Under the Microscope, we take you into the depths of BioVision Seed Labs’ Sherwood Park laboratory, to hear last minute seed test recommendations from Sydney Vos, marketing coordinator with BioVision. In the video, Vos gives an overview of four of the most important tests to consider, including: Germination Cool Stress Vigour… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Exploring BioVision’s 1400 Species Herbarium

After years of filming Under the Microscope over Skype, and in crowded trade show hallways, we are beyond excited to publish the next two episodes of our series with BioVision Seed Labs, filmed from their Sherwood Park laboratory. In this episode, Holly Gelech, business development manager, walks us through the company’s treasured herbarium. When most of us think… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Seed Tests to Consider Over Winter

For most of us, seed testing is something to be done during or immediately after harvest, and right before seeding. But, there might be a reason or two to put the egg nog back in the fridge and hit the bins for a sample. For those relatively new to seed testing, Sydney Vos with BioVision Seed Labs suggests… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Evaluating Seeds Born of the 2015 Crop

Dry summer conditions and a fall with off-and-on-again moisture have seed samples showing less disease than the past few years, overall, but perhaps a few extra issues with germination. “What (late season moisture) is causing is pre-sprouting,” says Holly Gelech with BioVision Seed Labs. “One of the critical factors that growers should be considering is… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Could Aphanomyces Be Lurking in Your Field?

While this growing season may have some pulse growers wishing Mother Nature would turn the water taps on, the past few seasons have been tough on pulse crops when it comes to root rots and seedling diseases. Particularly in 2013, farmers were stumped by pea fields hard-hit by “wet feet.” Turns out, there was a… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Where, When and How to Test for Clubroot

Testing for clubroot falls into an interesting classification — it’s a disease, yes, but it’s in soil. Do you send samples to a soil lab or a seed lab? In this edition of Under the Microscope, Holly Gelech, business development manager with Biovision Seed Labs, walks us through how labs test for clubroot and while… Read more »

Under the Microscope: It’s Re-Test Time! Plus, Which Seed is Already in Short Supply

The hangover of 2014’s long, drawn out, wet harvest has already taken a toll on seed supplies of certain crop types for 2015, says Holly Gelech, Biovision Seed Lab’s business development manager. The full fallout, however, has likely not been realized. “Farmers did a great job this fall getting seed samples in early,” says Gelech,… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Minimizing the Risks of a Pre-Harvest Glyphosate Application

Using glyphosate as a harvest aid and weed management tool most certainly has its place on the farm, but it carries a measure of risk, as well. Go in too early and not only can you rob the crop of yield, but the resulting seed may also end up damaged by the chemical application. Related:… Read more »

Under the Microscope: All About Faba Beans — Big Seed, a Long Test & Insect Damage Risks

Calling them the soybeans of Alberta isn’t being fair to soybeans, but faba beans are enjoying a similar surge in popularity, due in part to the crop’s ability to fix its own nitrogen and broaden farmers’ marketing options. Being a relatively new (or newly popular, depending on how you look at it) crop for many… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Harvest Conditions Weigh on Late Winter Germination Rates

In farming, we want two very opposite things from seed — we want a seed that stores well, perhaps even long term, but also a seed that, the moment conditions are right, it speedily germinates and becomes a hardy seedling. You can’t always have it both ways, of course, and the inner workings of a… Read more »

Under the Microscope: The Future of Seed Testing

Seed labs, the services they offer and the role they play in crop production is changing. Within the year, changes to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will shift certain roles and responsibilities to the private sector. Crop inspection services and some analytical services will move outside of the CFIA and seed testing labs are… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Identifying Chemical Damage, the Loose Smut Test & 2013 Crop Germ Rates

Can you spot a chemically damaged wheat seedling from a healthy one? Unlike some other damage or infection, chemically damaged cereal seedlings don’t always look that bad off in the very early stages. In fact, seedlings can even put out a mostly healthy shoot, but upon further investigation the trained eye will notice that the… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Dormancy Explained

Seed that looks mature and healthy but won’t sprout could be dormant. What does this mean for seed supplies, and is there anything special you should do before sending in seed samples for testing to try and break it? No, says Holly Gelech, business development manager with Biovision Seed Labs. Dormant seeds are still considered… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Testing Ahead of Winter Wheat Seeding, Plus Early Harvest Indicators

Seeding winter wheat while you’re busy with harvest can take some time to wrap your head around. At the same time, there are several advantages to breaking out the seeder after the canola comes off the field. While the weather and soil conditions may be significantly different for September seeding than May, the importance of… Read more »

Under the Microscope: Testing for Clubroot

It’s an unfortunate thing, but farmers in each of the Prairie Provinces must think about clubroot this spring and throughout the growing season. While it’s still overwhelmingly most common in the Edmonton area, clubroot spores have been confirmed in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba fields. For those more acquainted with the threat, soil testing is one… Read more »