Not All Seed is the Same

 In Providing Insight

Cold germination tests are performed on all seed lots as a part of quality control, but these results are rarely publicly available. When they are provided, comparisons across companies lack validity because no standardized test procedure is legally recognized. Each company has its own unique processes and minimum standards that change with the range of results. Suppliers seek a balance between the goals of providing quality and maintaining adequate supply to their customers.

The best way for a farmer to minimize exposure to significant yield loss is to have a recent and uniform cold germination test on each seed lot. This allows for an informed decision, as well as a basis for decisions on planting dates.

Just as Ag Spectrum recommends testing lime, gypsum, and water to understand quality, seed germination in cold conditions is an even more yield-limiting variable. Recording actual cold germination tests is also useful in analyzing emergence issues or replant situations.

Maximum Farming System independent representatives are able to help farmers acquire reliable cold germination scores on each lot that will help them make the best decisions come planting season. Figure 1 shows a Seed Sample Germination Analysis that was cold germination tested. The seed lot shown on top was not recommended for planting under cold conditions, but the lot on bottom shows a satisfactory cold germination score.

Cory Robinson, an Ag Spectrum Area Manager in Missouri, shares his experience firsthand, “Seed germ testing is one of the first things I do with farmers before planting season. I can provide the farmer valuable insight that, in many cases, has changed when and where they plant competitive hybrids. In one specific case after cold germ testing, a farmer decided to plant the lot numbers with the highest germ rates first when conditions may not have been best. Whereas, he originally intended to plant those that tested lower germ rates first. This most likely helped save him from a replant situation.”

Get in touch with your local Maximum Farming System representative today.

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