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TAS Country : February 9th 2012
20 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 10, 2012 Special Feature Tillage and planting WARNING SIGNS: Growers must check the retained seed for damage before planting. Guidelines to ensure viable seed GRAIN growers are en- couraged to take particular care with and pay atten- tion to the retained seed they are planning to sow this season. While the extent of seed affected by weather during the 2011 harvest is con- siderably less than it was in the previous year, close scrutiny of seed that has been set aside for planting is being advised. The Grains Research and Development Corpor- ation (GRDC) says that any grain subjected to wetting at harvest is more suscep- tible to poor germination, low vigour and degra- dation during storage and handling. To assist growers to de- termine whether grain is viable for sowing and what is an appropriate and effec- tive seed management program, the GRDC offers a detailed Retaining Seed fact sheet. The symptoms of seed quality deterioration can range from mild, such as a loose and wrinkled seed coat in some pulses, to more advanced, such as seed staining, fungal mould and visible signs of germination. It is essential that growers recognise whether the damage is cosmetic or the symptom of a seed- borne disease, and if it is likely to affect germi- nation. GRDC Southern Re- gional Panel chair David Shannon says that in ac- cordance with the fact sheet, unless canola seed was harvested before any weather damage, it should not be retained for sowing due to the vulnerability of canola's small seed. Any retained seed should be graded and test- ed for germination and vigour. Testing for seed- borne disease is also rec- ommended, especially with saved pulse seed. Other key points con- tained in the GRDC fact sheet that growers should consider when retaining grain for seed include: While a laboratory seed test should be used to establish the germination percentage of on-farm re- tained seed before sowing, especially if it has been weather damaged, a simple on-farm germination test can be done in soil. This will give a good indication of emergence and seedling vigour as at germination. Seed-borne disease generally cannot be ident- ified from visual inspec- tion so requires laboratory testing. Achieving and main- taining low temperature, humidity and grain moist- ure content for stored grain is even more critical if grain has been weather damaged. As weather- damaged seed deteriorates faster than sound seed it should not be stored for more than 12 months. With many weedy pulse and cereal crops in a wet season, desiccation or crop topping often be- comes necessary. Depend- ing on timing and chemi- cals used, this could affect seed quality for sowing. Grain must not be retained for seed when glyphosate has been used in pre-harvest appli- cations. Seedling emergence can be affected by sowing too deeply, cold or wet soil, some seed dressings and herbicides, and hard- setting soil. The fact sheet is accessible via www.grdc.com. au/GRDC---FS---Retainin- gseed and is also available free (plus postage and handling) through GRDCs Ground Cover Direct freecall 1800 110044, or email ground-cover- direct@canprint. com.au IMC LPA 1146 TC Accuracy and precision delivery with control. Soft ballistics delivering hard profits AMAZONE's soft ballistic system (SBS) is the gentle science of delivering valuable granular fertilisers, using world-class twin disc spreader technology. Combining this with site specific application maximises profits. The AMAZONE centrifugal spreader range starts with tractor-mounted units offering hopper capacities from 900 -- 3600 litres and working widths from 10 -- 48 metres. The range features your choice of standard and optional spread rate controllers, weigh cells, hopper covers and at the top end an Ultra Hydro Spreading kit for the ZG-B trailed machine with 8200 litre hopper capacity. This is legendary German engineering designed to deliver accuracy and reliability over a long working life. Contact your regional AMAZONE dealer today. 1800 425 227 www.claasharvestcentre.com.au
February 2nd 2012
February 16th 2012