Any grain subjected to wetting at harvest is more susceptible to poor germination, low vigour and degradation during storage and handling.
GRDC Southern Regional Panel member Kate Wilson said it was important for growers to closely scrutinise seed being set aside for planting.
Wilson, a grain grower and agronomic consultant in Victoria’s Mallee, said it was essential that growers determine whether damage to grain caused by rain at harvest is purely cosmetic or the symptom of a seed-borne disease which will impact on germination.
“To ensure establishment of a healthy crop next season, it is important to pay particular attention to the seed that is being saved for sowing. Proper management of the seed starts at harvest and should continue right through to storage, handling and seeding next year,” Wilson said.
Unless canola seed was harvested before any weather damage it should not be retained for sowing due to the vulnerability of canola’s small seed.
Any retained seed should be graded and tested for germination and vigour. Testing for seed-borne disease is also recommended, especially with saved pulse seed.
A GRDC fact sheet assists growers in determining whether grain is viable for sowing and what is an appropriate and effective seed management program,
It states the symptoms of seed quality deterioration can range from mild, such as a loose and wrinkled seed coat in some pulses, to more advanced, such as seed staining, fungal mould and visible signs of germination.
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