Certified Seed and Why it’s the Way of the Future

Certified seed is essential to producers. The certification process provides confidence when it comes to purity and germination, and it actually saves more money than it costs.

A recent “drill-box” survey conducted in Cache County, Utah proves our points. The survey included 42 spring small-grain samples and 46 fall-planted small-grain samples from Cache County. Clark Israelsen, USU Extension Agent, Cache County, explains the key findings:

“For each sample collected, we conducted a germination test, assessed seed purity, identified percent and identity of weed seeds, inert matter and other crop seeds (such as wheat seeds mixed with barley seed). The typical analysis on certified seed was 99.09% purity, 98% germination, 0% weeds, 0% other crops and 0.01% inert matter. By comparison, farmer saved seed was 98.34% pure, but only an average of 87% of the seed germinated.  A germination test 12% lower than certified is reason enough to only plant certified.  Even more alarming was the fact that germination from some of the farmer saved seed was as low as 48%.  Another real concern from non-certified seed came from the detection of 0.32% weeds, 0.26% other crop seed and 1.13% inert matter.  Much of the weed seed was barnyard grass, green foxtail, goosefoot, wild mustard, pigweed, witchgrass, wild buckwheat, quack grass, lambs quarter and field bindweed. Most of these seeds are tiny, so on a percentage basis, a multitude of weeds were being planted for each cultivated crop such as wheat or barley. Anything saved on the initial cost of the seed was soon lost to reduced yield or additional herbicide costs from attempting to control weeds that the grower actually planted…it is amazing that someone would consider planting such seed.

Certified seed is typically grown by local farmers in cooperation with local seed companies. It is also inspected several times throughout the growing and conditioning process by accredited, third-party inspectors before it qualifies as certified seed and is sold to the farmer. The drill-box survey demonstrates that certified seed is actually a savings instead of an expense.”

For more details regarding this survey and ideas for planting successful crops, click here to read A Good Start, by seed treatment specialist Mike Erickson of the McGregor Company.

How Thresher can help. 

Thresher is dedicated to providing the highest-quality seed. Now that we’ve discussed why certified seed is important and beneficial to the future of your crops, let’s take a look at how you can ensure that you consistently create the best seed options:

  1. Draw upon a variety of seed that is inspected locally and tested for purity and germination.
  2. Plant high-quality milling wheat varieties to increase the marketability of your grain and generate a better bottom line.
  3. Find a sourcing and production expert that provides seed treatment with choices that meet your specific grower needs. Make sure you have access to the most up-to-date seed genetics available in your area.
  4. Remember, on the farm, portable seed treatment application does not get each seed coated which increases the risk of disease. Find the right seed treatment that prevents disease and good management to mitigate these risks.

Thresher’s proven Certified Seed program provides benefits that help producers follow the four tips listed above explicitly. The Identity Preservation (IP) program ensures only high-quality, approved varieties such as select hard whites, hard reds and soft whites are produced with improved milling and baking traits.

To learn more about the Thresher Seed Program, visit thresherwheat.com/seed/.

Related story from an industry expert: 

Should You Cut Seed Treatment? Industry expert, Darren Hefty, explains the importance of seed treatment. Read more on how to make your investments matter. Click here to read more.