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Seed Quality Information A Must

9 April 2002

Farmers should insist that seed companies provide all of the performance data on seed, including post-treatment data, before they buy their seed says Grains Council Chairman Neil Barton.

"This year's difficult harvest will most certainly have reduced the quality of many lines of seed. The standard purity and germination (P&G) tests often do not provide an accurate assessment of how seed will perform in the field; particularly for treated seed.

"Seed treatments applied after the P&G test can reduce the germination rate and cause abnormal germination. Damaged, or lower quality seed that may perform adequately in the P&G test, may have considerably lower field germination after seed treatment."

Mr Barton says that the performance of seed post-treatment depends on whether the seed has been damaged or has been affected by fungi and the type of treatment used.

"One major chemical company measures the effects of their products on seed using a low temperature, stressed germination test. They then provide the results to the seed companies so that the appropriate seed treatment is applied.

"Reputable seed companies selling treated seed should be able to provide you with the results of the chemical company's test, which gives a more reliable indication of the percentage of seed that will emerge in the paddock.

"Seed is an expensive input, and farmers should know what they're buying," concluded Mr Barton.


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