In all cases Certified Seed should be purchased. This ensures the seed you are buying is of the specified cultivar, and is of assured quality and purity.
All Certified Seed has a Seed Analysis Certificate, which is available from your seed supplier on request. Some key points to look for on this are:
- Identification - the cultivar tested and merchant reference number, also known as seed line number (on side of seed sack).
- When tested - date of test, which should be within six months of sale.
- Standard tests - purity (% pure seed, contaminants); germination (% live seed, hard seed in legumes, abnormals); bulk search (contaminants in very low levels, not enough to show in purity)
- Other tests - endophyte % in perennial ryegrass (either seed or seedlings grow outs). Industry levels are set at a minimum of 70% endophyte in ryegrass seed.
Seed treatment can be seen as an 'insurance policy' against paddock failure.
- Reduces the risk of losing a pasture or crop at establishment, by protecting newly-emerged seedlings from pests and disease.
- Seed treatment lasts for approximately six weeks post-sowing, the time that young plants are most vulnerable to insect attack and disease.
- Provides good control of low to moderate insect pressure - a wider control programme is needed where increases are high.
Storing seed on farm
Seed is a living entity that can deteriorate over time, and this particularly applies to endophyte levels in ryegrass seed.
On-farm, store seed in a cool, dry place and sow seed within one month of uplifting seed. Do not keep seed from one season to another.