Sourcing seed for next year's crop

Page last updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2023 - 11:27am

For those that are harvesting crops to get seed back for next year, there are a few things that you can do to ensure the best quality seed. After a dry season, seed may be smaller and less vigorous, but their viability should not be affected.

Soil with sprouting plants

To get the best seed for next year:

  • Choose the better crops to harvest for next years’ seed.
  • Harvester setup needs to be adjusted for patchy crops. Check for cracked grain and make setup changes to minimise. More information can be found in the article on ‘Harvesting short, patchy crops’.
  • Grading the seed removes the small, shrivelled or cracked grain.
  • Grading also reduces the number of weed seeds, but there is often still some weed seed contamination. Crop type will influence which seeds and how competitive they are with the crop. More informaton can be found on the Weedsmart webpage ‘Clean seed – don't seed resistant weeds’.
  • Use fungicide seed dressings and pre-emergent herbicides such as trifluralin with care as they can adversely affect germination and crop establishment.
  • Grain storage rules apply: keep it dry, keep it cool, keep it insect free.
  • Testing seed viability is a good option if unsure. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Diagnostic Laboratory Services (DDLS) provides various seed testing services.
  • Avoid deep sowing and dry sowing of seed with reduced viability.
  • When adjusting seeding rates for the target density, adjustments for seed viability should also include potential for reduced vigour and establishment of smaller seeds.

Topics

Contact information

Dion Nicol
+61 (0)8 9081 3115
Blakely Paynter
+61 (0)8 9690 2115

Author

Madeleine Farias