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From the - Grower Solutions MagazineAustralian Seed suppliersAustralian Seed suppliers
Lefroy Valley Magazine

Q: I have some onion seed that has been in my shed from last season. It has a label germination of 89%. Can I get it pelleted?

A: By pelleting seed you are making it slightly more difficult for the seed to germinate and emerge, especially in dry or cold conditions. The benefit of pelleting it is to improve the ease of sowing and the uniformity of the plant stand, therefore when pelleting it is important to use high quality seed with a good germination and vigour.

As this seed has been stored in your shed for more than 12 months the storage conditions will be variable, it not recommend to pellet this seed.

In order to maintain the life of the seed, it is important to keep the seed under good conditions. Ideally is a consistent low temperature (10-15C) and in sealed packaging. If there is still a need to pellet this seed, it is essential that the seed undergoes germination tested prior to treatment. The germination test involves two counts 6 days apart.

If the first count is low, then this is often an indication of low seed vigour or seed nearing the end of its lifespan. Seed in this condition should not be pelleted and indeed the down stream economic costs of even planting as raw seed should be carefully considered.
 
 

Q: The freight company delivering my bean seed has thrown it off the back of the truck, can this have an impact on its’ performance?

A: Seeds are a living product and therefore need to be treated with some care. Some seeds are more susceptible to dropping and shocks than others and beans are one of those that are fragile. After drying the bean seed coat can become brittle and with dropping it can crack. This will kill the seed. A broken seed can not and will not germinate. Some of the other seeds that are susceptible to dropping include cucumber, corn and melon seeds, but no seed enjoys being thrown from the back of the truck. Care must also be taken when treating your own seed that you do not physically damage it. This also applies when tipping the seed into a hopper in preparation for sowing as this may cause the seed to crack and decrease the germination.
 

Q: We have some cauliflower seed left over that we can not use this season, how is the best way to store it?

A: Seeds are a living product and therefore need to be treated with some care. Some seeds are more susceptible to dropping and shocks than others and beans are one of those that are fragile. After drying the bean seed coat can become brittle and with dropping it can crack. This will kill the seed. A broken seed can not and will not germinate.

Some of the other seeds that are susceptible to dropping include cucumber, corn and melon seeds, but no seed enjoys being thrown from the back of the truck.

Care must also be taken when treating your own seed that you do not physically damage it. This also applies when tipping the seed into a hopper in preparation for sowing as this may cause the seed to crack and decrease the germination.
 

Q: We have some cauliflower seed left over that we can not use this season, how is the best way to store it?

A: Seed that you purchase from Lefroy Valley has been conditioned to extend the storage life. To maintain this storage life, the best thing to do is:

❏ Keep the seed at a consistent cool temperature - it is better to keep the seed at a range of 15-18C, rather than 10-18C

❏ Preferably store only seed in unopened packets

❏ If the seed is in opened packets, store it in an air tight container

❏ Keep the seed dry


Q: If the label germination says 95%, will I get a germination of 95% in the field?

A: The label germination tells you the maximum potential germination of a seed sample, when grown under, ideal, controlled conditions. This result provides an indication on how the seed will perform in the field or greenhouse, but since the conditions in the field or greenhouse do not always match those in the laboratory, the results may be different.
 

Q: How does age effect the performance of the seed?

A: Seed is a living thing that degrades over time. Each species and variety will have a different lifecycle and its performance will fall at different rates. Usually the vigour will fall first and be seen by slower emergence, then the germination will start to fall. An increase in the number of abnormal seedlings and an increase in the spread of the germination will show this in the germination tests.


Q: What is the difference between the various seed coatings ?

A: There are a number of different seed treatments available. The most basic is slurry treatment, where chemical is applied without any binder. A problem with this is that it often flakes off and is being phased out of use for OH&S reasons. The alternative to this is Polycoat. Polycoat applies chemical evenly to each seed with a binder that ensures that the chemical remains on the seed. The next step is Encrusting. Encrusting is the application of chemical and powder to fill in the hollows on the seed. It can increase the size and weight of the seed, but it is possible to still see the shape of the seed. Finally there is pelleting. Pelleting has been available for many years and provides a complete cover to the seed. The size and shape of the seed is completely changed. There are many materials used for pelleting and the ones used vary depending on the seed being treated to ensure the best possible performance.

 
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