By Clint Thompson
Scott Monfort, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist, cautions growers to ask questions and know all the information about their seed before purchasing this spring.
With planting season less than two months away for some farmers, low-quality seed can lead to reduced plant stands and diminished yields. Monfort emphasizes the importance of knowing what the germ percentage of the seed is. Every seed lot must meet a minimum standard of germination or it will not be certified.
“They just need to ask the questions. The shellers are not going to bring them seed that they know is bad, but does that mean that there are varying levels of germ in some of those seed lots? Sure there is,” Monfort said. “But the biggest thing from my perspective for the grower is he should know what the germ (percentage) is. If it’s 80 percent, then he needs to bump his seed up (during planting) to make sure he gets at least four plants up. If we don’t know what the germ is and we plant just six seed out there and (the germ percentage) was on the lower end, then we’ve hurt ourselves.”
Monfort said seed quality issues are especially concerning following years that experience hot and dry harvests, which was the case in 2019. If growers experience a huge disease year, the right fungicides aren’t used and the plants are not healthy, that can lead to bad quality as well. Monfort wants farmers to be informed.
“We just need to know what it is. That’s what I caution growers to know so they can at least understand how to adjust seeding rates; know that they need to come back in those fields and check and see what kind of stand they’ve got, to see if they need to add more (plants) as quick as they can so it doesn’t disturb or change their yield potential,” Monfort said.
Producers also need to be cognizant of where they store the seed before it goes into the ground. Farmers normally purchase their seed a couple of weeks before planting, typically during early-to-mid April. The seed needs to be placed in an area that will not receive an extreme spike in temperature or humidity.