Important steps in producing high cold germ seed

When we, as a seed company go to seed production we think, “What nutrition does this seed need to produce high cold germ?” Micronutrients are essential for seed production to achieve high cold germ specs. All nutrition applied to the soil needs to be a balanced ration. The seed needs to be raised on farms that have live soil biology so it passes on abundance to the customer. In planter and side-dress we address micronutrients in our fertility program. For example, corn likes zinc and boron to help form a healthy kernel. A healthy seed kernel looks full and fat and rounding, not thin and spear-shaped. There are other nutrients in our fertility program that move the seed quality standard higher. Our customers see the Prairie Hybrids value of applying micronutrients to the soil in 3-4 individual passes in our seed production. The measurement of this value can be determined by cold germ and seed emergence confirmed by our customers. There is an art to getting the correct micro and macronutrients to the soil in seed corn production so the seed can emerge evenly.

There are also certain factors when we dry the seed that helps move seed quality to the next level. For example, when the seed is dried longer than 96 hours it will degrade the seed quality. We check the temperature and humidity in the seed dryer daily to assure that the humidity is not too high in the exhaust of the seed drying system so the seed does not germinate prematurely. This happens way too often in the seed world, but there are ways we can check that. The temperature in the seed dryer should not be above 95° max. We want the seed to be 12% moisture before we shell seed. Another thing we do is a fast green test on a few lots to assure that we don’t have any sharp edges in our equipment (pipes, bean ladders, etc.) that would damage the seed. We harvest seed on the ear to ensure high-quality seed.

Learn more about Cold Germ Matters.