How Do I Interpret My Seed Test Results? – Cereal Seed
Arguably the most important part of having your seed tested is to manage the results so that you can take full advantage of all the important facts that you have learned about the quality of your seed. The germination, vigour, TKW, and Fungal Screen™ provide the basis for your seeding rate, the timing of your seeding, and your seed treatment options.
Our germination test includes the percentage of normal seedlings, but also lists the percentage of abnormal seedlings, dormant seeds, and dead seeds. It is important to look at this breakdown and understand the issues that are limiting your seed from having a higher percentage of normal seedlings. If the germination analyst identifies any significant issues with seedling quality, it will be listed as a remark on our Report of Seed Analysis. It is important to remember that a germination test is conducted at 20°C and that the seed quality analysis is conducted under optimum conditions.
Since it is very rare that a grower would plant his seed into 20°C soil temperature, we offer a vigour test that simulates the cold soil conditions that most growers would encounter in a western Canadian spring. This test is a great comparison to the germination test and indicates how well the seed will perform in cold soil. A high seed vigour percentage is the ability of the seed to germinate at a cold temperature and establish a uniform, optimum plant stand in adverse conditions. A low seed vigour may result in a reduced plant stand and uneven emergence. A low vigour can sometimes be managed by planting at a later date into warmer soil conditions. Many farmers use the difference between the germination result and the vigour result as the percent of expected mortality when determining the seeding rate.
Thousand Kernel Weight
The thousand kernel weight (TKW) test assists in determining the number of seeds to plant per square foot or per square meter. The TKW result is used in a seed calculator (Alberta Ag Cereal Seeding Rate Calculator) to obtain a seeding rate and get a desired plant stand. TKW results can vary by over ½ a bushel and are a very important seeding tool.
Disease test results can be overwhelming to comprehend, so we have developed an interpretation bulletin (Fungal Screen™ Interpretation) to assist with managing the results from the Fungal Screen™. It will help you to make decisions about the levels of seed borne pathogens and how you should handle them. Knowing the kind of pathogen and the percentage lets you choose the best type of seed treatment to control it or if the level of disease is so high that a seed treatment may not provide adequate control. Many of the pathogenic seed borne diseases have increased substantially in the last few years and can have a significant impact on crop yield and grain quality.
For more information on any test we offer or to discuss your seed quality, please contact us at 1-877-420-2099.