A Word on Cold Tests
Cold Tests, Saturated Cold Tests and Pericarp Damage results help predict how seed will perform in extremely adverse growing conditions. Keep in mind that these are vigor tests and are not covered under AOSA rules or the tolerances used for standard germination testing. Vigor results do not appear on seed labels and with good reason. The AOSA, Association of Official Seed Analyst, has recommended procedures for vigor testing that the IL Crop Seed Lab follows. However, these tests put seed under extreme stress that can be akin to breaking bones to determine how much milk you drink. There are variations in the soil or media used by each lab and seed that is on the lower spectrum of seedling vigor generally show more variation. Higher seed vigor generally produces less variation in results within and among labs. Therefore, vigor results may vary from laboratory to laboratory and even from sample to sample. Sampling is very important. It is crucial to obtain a sample that represents the entire lot of seed. There are many other factors that can play into variation in results such as, but not limited to, the environmental conditions during the growing season, seed handling, storage conditions, and even genetics. But this is why companies run these kinds of tests for marketing and shipping decisions.
The IL Crop Seed Lab has seen an overall decrease in the vigor testing result averages for the 2012 seed crop, specifically in the saturated cold test and pericarp damage test. The overall average on saturated cold tests that have been tested in our lab has decreased from 72.2% last season to 67.2% this season. We have seen an increase in the amount of seed with moderate to heavy damage in the pericarp damage test. Growing conditions in 2012 led to more round seeds compared to flat seeds, and it is common to see a higher level of mechanical damage in round seed.
With 2013 planting pushing into May as a result of all the rain that most of us have been experiencing, the concern over extreme adverse conditions should lessen. Germinations should be close to the rate indicated on the seed label. Once the seed germinates and establishes a stand the vigor tests and their results can be forgotten until the new crop of seed comes in and the race to plant early begins again in the spring of 2014.
Phytosanitary Field Inspection Changes
Starting in the 2013 growing season, IL Crop will be making a change in how phytosanitary field inspections are conducted. All phytosanitary inspections will now have a tissue sample submitted to the U of I Plant Clinic for disease diagnosis.
In addition, the billing structure and pricing for the U of I Plant Clinic services is also changing. Previously, the diagnosis charges for the Plant Clinic were billed at the end, after the inspection season was over, sometimes as late as January. However, with all phytosanitary inspections now requiring a diagnosis the base charge for this service will be applied up front, during the field application process. To keep up with the rising costs associated with sampling and disease diagnosis the fee for the Plant Clinic services will also be increasing from $17 to $20. Therefore ALL phytosanitary field inspections will now have the new $20 Plant Clinic Fee applied at application time.
This increase is only for the basic Plant Clinic fee and does not affect per acre rates. Billing structure and pricing for specialty phytosanitary inspection testing such as soybean cyst nematode (SCN) or plant virus detection will also remain unchanged and be handled as in the past. (May 2013)
AOSCA Announces Organic Seed Finder
AOSCA has announced the formal launch of the AOSCA Organic Seed Finder website, the result of efforts that began over a year ago. To visit the website, go to organicseedfinder.org. The purpose of the Seed Finder website is to allow vendors of organic seed to post their available varieties in a central, on-line location where potential buyers and certifiers can search for the varieties.
The core of AOSCA's mission has been to promote seed or plant products that meet certain accepted standards and providing the Organic Seed Finder is one way that AOSCA and its members can support this growing segment of the seed industry.
Protein and Oil White Paper from ISA
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), with funding from the soybean checkoff, recently published a white paper to help Illinois soybean farmers understand how planting soybean varieties with greater protein and oil levels in mind can protect profits and market share. The white paper is available online or through the ISA office or the following link: Looking Beyond Soybean Yields.
Corn Harvest Report
The IPG Laboratory provided analysis for the second year of the US Grains Council’s Corn Harvest Quality Report. The report was coordinated by Centrec Consulting Group in cooperation from leading experts in grain quality and marketing, crop production, and mycotoxins. Be sure to read John McKinney's newsletter article in the first quarter edition of the Illinois Seed News and see the US Grains Council report or download the entire report. (Feb 2013)