Seed Lab Update by Steve Beals 

Corn germination results have been strong this testing season with an average of 95.6% across Illinois. The corn cold test averages are higher this testing season than last year at 93.4% across all regions. The average soybean germination for this testing season is 92.3% across all regions. Last year the soybean germination average was 83.2%. The average pod and stem blight infection thus far is 1.30% across all regions. Last year at this time, we were seeing an average of 7.34% infection. The soybean cold test average is slightly higher than what we saw last year at this time with an average of 87.4% compared to 84.2%. The soybean seed counts are showing a decrease in the size of soybean seed size this year with an average of 2,779 seeds per pound. Below is a chart of germination averages by region.

1/9/2020 Soybean Soybean  Soybean Soybean Soybean Corn  Corn
Region Germ Pod/Stem Sand Germ CT Seed Count Germ CT
Central 96.7 0.38 94 97.2 2,523 93.2 N/A
East 96 0.56 N/A 92.4 2,655 96.2 92.6
East SE 89 0.34 90.3 79.8 2,751 96 90.1
Northeast 79 1.88 N/A 74 2,616 93.9 N/A
Northwest 94.1 2.81 N/A 89.7 2,816 96.5 94.4
Southeast 91.8 2.34 N/A 75 3,138 94.5 94.3
Southwest 93.5 0.58 94.7 91.9 3,134 99 97
West 95.3 1.54 N/A 90.5 2,643 96.9 95.1
West SW 94.1 1.11 91.8 92 N/A 95.1 91.8
Out of State 93.3 1.46 96.3 91.8 2,737 94.4 92.4

As indicated in the charts there are areas throughout the region that treating soybeans for phomopsis will be beneficial for selected seed lots this season. The Illinois Crop Seed Lab has been treating samples with customer supplied seed treatments as well as using in-house fungicide treatments. If you have any questions or would like to talk about the different treatment options please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-359-4053.

Amaranthus species – Palmer amaranth and Tall Waterhemp

More States are adding Amaranthus palmeri, more commonly known as Palmer amaranth, to their noxious weed list. Palmer amaranth and tall waterhemp are invasive and harmful weeds. They have many populations that are resistant to herbicides and are difficult to control once established. In three years, the number of states that have added Palmer amaranth as a noxious weed has grown from two states to eight, with talks of other states looking to add Palmer amaranth to their noxious weed list. According to the USDA State Noxious-Weed Seed requirements Recognized in the Administration of the Federal Seed Act, December 2019 Revision, the states that list Palmer amaranth as noxious weed are as follows; Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin. Amaranthus tuberculatus also known as tall waterhemp is a noxious weed in the state of Wisconsin. This species is also a Primary noxious weed in Canada. Amaranthus sp. – Amaranth seed, Palmer amaranth, Waterhemp, or any pigweed seed is noxious in the state of Indiana. Indiana does have a provision that the restriction does apply to amaranth species that are sold as vegetable seed, edible grains for human consumption, or seed for ornamental landscape plants. If amaranth seeds are found in the purity sample, the amaranth species are difficult to distinguish from each other. For this reason, the Society of Commercial Seed Technologist recommended a few years back that while conducting an All-State Noxious Weed Exam, any Amaranthus sp. found in the sample should be listed as Amaranthus sp. and classified as a noxious weed on the Report of Analysis. The report should also include a statement that says the Amaranthus sp. found in the sample cannot be determined and may be Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth) or Amaranthus tuberculatus (tall waterhemp). There are a few labs around the US that conduct DNA testing on Amaranth seeds for the presence of Palmer amaranth and /or tall waterhemp. For amaranth seeds that we find in purity samples, per customer request, are DNA tested at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic for Amaranthus sp. determination. If you have any questions about Amaranth sp., please let me know.

2020 ASTA Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference

Brittany Whitsitt and I will be attending the 2020 ASTA Vegetable and Flower Seed Conference that will be held at the Monterey California, February 1st through February 4th. IL Crop will have a display at booth 15 and meeting table 101 located in the trading room. If you are planning on attending the Veg and Flower Seed Conference, please stop by and say hello and talk to us about any seed testing needs that you may have. We will also be available for meetings if you would like to sit down and discuss testing options. If you would like to prearrange a meeting, please call or email to set up an appointment. Otherwise, just stop by the booth and we can make arrangements then.

Should you have any comments or questions about seed testing and seed quality issues, please contact the IL Crop Seed Lab at 217-359-4053, or email Steve Beals at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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