Acquiring and caring for seeds is an important part of agriculture. As agricultural and capital inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, and infrastructure become more and more expensive, it is a must to secure seeds to ensure that farmers and producers will have quality seeds for future use. With this, one may ask: “how to preserve and store seeds effectively?”
Certain characteristics of seeds need to be kept and preserved so that they can be used reliably for producing crops. These characteristics include purity, vigor, appearance, and most importantly, germination percentage. It is crucial to ensure that seeds will retain their ability to germinate because having viable quality seeds is one of the first steps to getting quality crops as well.
Factors affecting seed germination
Before answering the question “how to preserve seeds,” it is important to understand the factors affecting its germination to properly think of an effective solution.
Among the most important ones is moisture. The moisture inside the seeds themselves poses a risk of mold growth, so it is important to dry them to the safe level of moisture content before storage. At the same time, moisture from the surrounding environment or inside the storage unit where the seeds will be kept also comes with risks. Premature germination can easily be triggered with enough moisture from the surrounding or if not, then mold growth might also occur. Such an occurrence kills the seeds, resulting to losses in resources and capital.
If the seeds do survive, then aflatoxin and ochratoxin become prevalent in seeds because of mold growth. These toxic substances become a danger to humans and animals due to adverse health risks brought by consuming crops laced with such toxins.
Another element that can affect seeds is light. Plants photosynthesize in order to nourish themselves. Therefore, this will also lead to growth or trigger premature germination, which becomes a big possibility if there is a light within the storage unit or area.
Aside from light, insects can also affect the quality of the seeds in storage. Quality degradation is a serious issue caused by insects that infest stored seeds. An infestation can easily damage stored seeds and render them useless.
Securing the storage of seeds
Considering the sensitivities that seeds have, producers must then ensure that storage is as secure as possible. These seeds must be kept in moisture-free environments, so as not to trigger premature germination or, even worse, allow mold growth.
Moreover, keeping the seeds in airtight storage is advisable because this will ensure that insect infestation will be controlled. A dark, cool place is also optimal in preserving seeds and avoiding premature germination. A perfect storage solution for preserving seed germination is the use of hermetic technology. Airtight and moisture-tight storage works perfectly when protecting the seeds from insects, mold growth, and premature germination.
Such are the products made by GrainPro’s hermetic technology. Quality is preserved inside the controlled atmosphere of the storage units because no external factors can affect the valuable seeds. A moisture-free environment is also ensured due to the superior barrier properties of materials such as polyethylene (PE) or polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC). This ensures that farmers can continuously rely on their seeds so that they can provide for future generations to come.
Date Published: January 24, 2019