Seed delivery trucks are rolling across the state as growers get ready for the 2016 growing season. Finding the proper place to store your seed is top of the list. Melisa Bell with Mycogen Seeds says, “A clean, dry storage area is essential to maintain seed purity and quality.” She adds that maintaining a consistent temperature and dry conditions is also a top priority to protect your seed investment, “Temperature swings can impact the integrity of the seed; and, if the bags get wet, it can lead to the seed germinating in the bag.”
She also advises that closely checking your delivery to make sure it is what you ordered is vital, especially with the complicated mix of hybrids and varieties that constitute a grower’s shipment today. She says organizing your delivery now is another way to save time at planting, “Because the seed you really need in a hurry will be stuck at the back behind several large pallets; that is just always the way it seems to work.” Bell said, if you do not have room for proper storage and handling of seed, you could leave part of your order at the dealer until you need it.
While getting your planter calibrated is important, making sure your seed handling equipment is also in good shape is an item for your to do list. Bell told HAT, “Attention to these preparations and precautions will help minimize downtime and pave the way for a successful planting season,”
Planning for a safe and efficient planting season begins with good preparation and organization now. Here are a few tips from Jason Welker, Mycogen Seeds commercial agronomist:
Plan for seed storage. Make sure you have a readily accessible indoor area that is large enough to store the seed and still leave space to move equipment as needed. If you don’t have adequate storage, arrange to leave seed at the dealership until it’s needed for planting.
Prepare facilities. A clean, dry storage area is essential to maintain seed purity and quality. Here’s a checklist:
Sweep out your on-farm seed storage area to eliminate sand or debris that could hamper forklift operations when moving pallets and bags.
Check for and repair roof or building leaks to keep seed from getting wet.
Prevent seed damage by controlling bird and mice populations.
Check facility ventilation and, if necessary, open doors to increase airflow.
Replace any burned-out light bulbs in the storage area so you can read seed tags easily.
Determine field planting order. It’s important to know which varieties you’ll be planting first, so the dealer can place your seed in the proper order in storage. A little preplanning can save time when you get busy. “In the rush of planting, you won’t want the seed you need first to be stuck behind other varieties,” Welker says.
Check seed tags. After seed delivery, review bag tags or super box tags so you are aware of management guidelines for seed treatments. “Knowing these requirements in advance helps prevent slowdowns during planting,” Welker says.
Maintain handling equipment. Check to make sure your tenders, conveyors, and augers are in working order and ready for the season. Worn augers could damage seed and reduce germination.
Stay safe. “During this hectic time, make safety a priority,” Welker says. He advises wearing personal protective equipment and long sleeves when handling seed to prevent contact with seed treatments should a bag or box break open. Also, avoid stacking pallets or bins more than four high and make sure seed containers are tied down adequately when transporting over the road.