April 2, 2017 Kris Cherewyk
As we turn the page on the calendar into April, I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss an important step before seeding cereals this spring.
Cleaning Bin-Run Seed
Many producers continue to use their own seed grown the previous year for planting – a practice commonly referred to as “bin-run”. Cleaning grain at a local facility to separate weeds and chaff from the seed is a common step, however, it is also critical to get the seed tested before it goes in the ground.
To achieve the desired plant population in the field, it is importantrequired to know the germination, vigor and thousand kernel weight (TKW) of the seed in order to properly calibrate the drill. Seeding rates need to be adjusted accordingly, or the plant counts can be either too great or too few.
In addition, the quality of the seed itself must be tested for the presence of disease. This past year in many parts of the prairies we saw a large amount of wheat acres infected by fusarium head blight (FHB). Even though fusarium damaged kernels may be removed by the cleaning process, spores still exist on the undamaged seed. Fusarium graminearum is the most aggressive strain contributing towards vomitoxin levels in seed which, in turn, leads to seeding diseases that reduce plant health. According to BASF, it is recommended that seed containing 5% fusarium graminearum and 10% total fusarium species be discarded and not used in planting.
Fusarium graminearum on barley seedlings, source is BioVision Seed Labs, www.biovision.ca
Using a cereal seed treatment is also recommended in all situations to prevent seed and soil borne diseases even under dry soil conditions. These tips will help get your cereal crops off to the best start possible and a greater chance of success at harvest time. Contact a local seed lab today to get your cereal seed tested to help you make the best possible decisions for your crops this spring.
Additional Sources of Information
BASF recommendations: https://on.basf.com/2opJBcV
BioVision Seed Labs contact info: http://www.biovision.ca/contact-us.aspx
Discovery Seed Labs contact info: https://www.seedtesting.com/choose-discovery/
Follow Kris on twitter @SeedHawkKris to learn more!