Protect your planting seed this summer

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 15 Feb 2016

Man facing the camera with a crop behind him

Philip Burrill, QLD DAF, advises that seed that is stored on-farm for subsequent crop plantings is a valuable asset that needs to be well managed in storage

Seed that is stored on-farm for subsequent crop plantings is a valuable asset that needs to be well managed in storage.

That is the advice from research agronomist Philip Burrill, who is based at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QLD DAF).

His top tips and tools for best practice on-farm seed storage are outlined in the January - Episode 18 of Ground Cover TV.

Philip says when selecting grain for planting seed, it is important to ensure it is: well grown; disease-free; has varietal purity; has not been weather damaged prior to harvest; and is weed seed-free.

He says the ideal storage for planting seed is a cone-based silo that is aerated, sealable when a fumigation is required, has good hygiene and is able to keep grain cool.

To maintain good seed germination and vigour, he suggests using a quality aeration controller to manage aeration fans to help achieve the recommended grain temperatures in storage of less than 23°C in summer and 15°C in winter.

Growers are also encouraged to check grain in storage every month and use a sieve and insect probe traps to detect any insect pests early.

If pests are found, identify them and then seal the silo gas-tight to achieve an effective fumigation.

Keep a record of monthly checks, pests found and grain fumigations. 

A germination and vigour test before seed grading and planting will also be valuable Philip says.

The seed testing laboratory can ‘clean/grade’ seed samples prior to testing if required. If there is a poor test result, there is time to consider alternative sources of seed.  

For more information about grain storage, see the GRDC’s stored grain hub or call the hotline on: 1800 933 845

Contact Details

For Interviews

Philip Burrill, QLD DAF
0427 696 500


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034
0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code PRB00001

Region National