Retaining Seed


Type: Factsheet
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

This fact sheet provides a lot of useful and important information if you are considering retaining your own seed this harvest.

This fact sheet has been developed by GRDC and looks at retaining seed at harvest.

Seed retained for sowing is a highly valuable asset and the way it is treated at harvest and in on-farm storage during summer is key to ensuring optimum quality and germination potential at sowing next year.

Grain retained for seed that is harvested following wet conditions requires attentive management if a healthy crop is to be established next season. This management starts at harvest and continues through storage, handling and seeding.

The key points are:

  • ideally retain seed from grain harvested before rain
  • weather damaged grain is more susceptible to poor germination, low vigour and degradation during storage and handling, so extra care is needed
  • harvest at low moisture and cool temperatures. Storage temperature and moisture must be monitored and controlled
  • germination percentage should be checked at harvest, during storage and before seeding. Low germination seed should not be used
  • do not retain seed from hybrid canola
  • correct seeding depth, conditions and agronomy are essential when sowing weather damaged seed
2017 - Australia - GRDC
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