Seed testing changes to benefit farmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Seed testing changes to benefit farmers

DES MOINES (KWWL)  – New procedures, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011, will benefit both farmers and seed companies by creating uniform procedures for testing corn, soybean, field bean and wheat seed by weight, volume, measure and count.

In a statement, Iowa Secretary of Ag Bill Northey says, "Farmers and seed companies will both benefit from this change that will allow seeds to be sold by count, rather than weight." 

The National Conference on Weights and Measures passed a vote July 14 to standardize the methods.

According to the NIST handbook, seed in the past has been bagged and sold by weight. The challenge with this is that seed is a living organism that can vary in size and weight from year to year depending on the growing conditions and storage environment.

This doesn't just benefit seed companies; but also farmers. When selling by weight, farmers don't know exactly how many seeds they are getting in each bag. Technology and increased planting precision allows farmers to calculate exactly how much seed they'll need. Planters are calibrated each spring to drop a specific number of seeds into the ground on each acre.


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