Save Some Seed

Save Some Seed!

As many of us know, large parts of the country struggled with drought in the 2023 crop season.

With the dry conditions nationwide, quality is in question regarding this year's seed stock.

In an article written by Rhonda Brooks in the AgWeb Farm Journal, many growers expressed concern about this year's seed stock supply. Ken Ferrie, a Farm Journal Field Agronomist had several farms send seed samples to be tested for quality. Ferrie expressed that “37% of the samples fall below what he would call good quality levels, and 11% fall into the poor category”.

Another concern of Ferrie’s is pericarp damage. This is when there is a tear in the seed coat at the embryo, likely making the seed more subject to salt burn from starter. Ferrie acknowledges that “seed with a high pericarp-damage score can produce a good stand, as long as you manage the risk from in-furrow fertilizer”.

From our experience, poor quality seed is also more susceptible to imbibitional chilling injury, which has resulted in poor and uneven stand emergence.

He explained that it would be beneficial to keep a small sample of seed from each lot until the crop has emerged and stand counts have been taken. Roughly 2 pounds of seed from each lot should be kept in a cool, dry place and labeled with seed variety and lot number- if possible keep a seed tag with the sample.

Hopefully, everyone will have a great stand and this sample can be discarded. If issues arise, this sample can be sent out and tested to rule out seed quality issues.

Filling out WNYCMA planting records will help scouts determine if a stand is underperforming based on planted population and the stand counts taken in the field.

If you need help filling out planting records please contact your consultant, or access training documents on the WNYCMA website in the “News” tab under “Entering Records on WNYCMA.com” OR “Entering Planting Records On Mobile Devices”.


Brooks, R. (2024, April 29). Ferrie: With Poor Quality A Concern, Hold Back Some Seed Corn.

AgWeb. https://www.agweb.com/news/crops/corn/ferrie-poor-quality-concern-hold-back-some-seed-corn