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Maximise your crop by testing your seeds

DO NOTS: Farmers should remember that grain must not be retained for seed when glyphosate had been used in pre-harvest applications.
DO NOTS: Farmers should remember that grain must not be retained for seed when glyphosate had been used in pre-harvest applications.

FRASER Coast farmers are being urged to conduct seed quality tests before planting to avoid setting back next season's crop.

Grains Research and Development Corporation suggest farmers follow simple steps now to ensure the quality of their grain and make sure they do not waste time and effort storing poor quality seed that would eat into profits later.

GRDC manager of commercial farm technologies Paul Meibusch said the work would be worth it in the long run.

"Checking seed quality is a process that will pay dividends later, so germination percentage and vigour should be checked at harvest, during storage and again before seeding," he said.

"Seed with low germination or vigour should be avoided as these have a direct effect on the emergence and uniformity of the next season's crop."

Mr Meibusch said a laboratory seed test for germination should be carried out before seeding to accurately calculate seeding rates.

He also said a simple on-farm test in soil was adequate at harvest and during storage.

Generally a germination of 80% at seeding is considered acceptable, with strong uniform emergence and healthy-coloured roots and shoots.

The GRDC said to harvest the best possible seed, harvest at low moisture and cool temperatures.

Storage temperature and moisture must also be monitored and controlled.

"Being able to spot the difference between cosmetic damage to the seed and damage that will impact on germination is important, as you do not want to risk discarding seed that is viable," Mr Meibusch said.

He said farmers should remember that grain must not be retained for seed when glyphosate had been used in pre-harvest applications.

Topics:  crops grdc seeds


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