Excellence in Seed Health
Seminis designed the SHIELD program to help ensure seed health through meaningful innovation.
Seminis is committed to providing growers with high quality vegetable seeds. To help ensure that we offer you the best options available when it comes to seed health, we developed our SHIELD program. SHIELD is a comprehensive care program that unites seed sanitation, seed health testing and field inspection. SHIELD stands for:
- SHIELD is committed to providing growers with high quality vegetable seeds through:
- Collaboration with national and international industry seed health groups.
- Accessibility to information, technology, and seed health education and training to support growers’ knowledge of seed health standards, testing and field management.
- Plant pathology to help ensure seeds are protected from both existing and newly developing diseases.
- Testing and tracking for seed-borne diseases.
- Technology, which is the foundation for promptly resolving seed health problems.
- Every Seminis customer can count on the added assurance provided by the SHIELD program with every unit of seed purchased.
- For more information on seed health and the SHIELD program, contact one of our global SHIELD Team members.
Seeds are living organisms and improper handling or storage can greatly reduce their performance. Seminis recommends that all non-primed seed is planted within two years of purchase and all primed seed is planted within one year of priming. The following additional information is aimed at further contributing to maximum shelf life potential:
Seed Storage Temperature
High temperatures and humidity may reduce seed vigor and germination. Therefore, seed should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight and in closed containers. Seminis packs its seed at industry-recommended moisture percentages. Containers must be kept closed to prevent humidity from damaging the seeds. We recommend storing untreated seed, and seed treated with fungicide at 15°C (60°F). Seed that is either primed or treated with insecticide should be stored between 5°C-8°C (41°F-46.4°F). Generally, every 5°C decrease of storage temperature doubles the average shelf life of the seed.
When seed is shipped, it needs the same temperature conditions it requires when in storage. It should not be stored near a heat source or in direct sun. When on board a ship, seed should be stored below the deck and away from boilers and other sources of heat. While loading and unloading, avoid placing the seed in direct sunlight or in hot or humid places.
Seed can be damaged by rough handling. Seeds have a hard, but fragile coating protecting the living organism within. Corn, pea and bean seed are especially susceptible to damage from rough handling. Bags of these seeds should not be thrown or dropped because the seed coats and embryos can crack, resulting in a seed that won’t develop properly.
In addition to potential legal requirements relating to seed germination testing, we recommend that each seed lot have a germination test every six months (every three months for primed seed). The germination test should be conducted by a laboratory test that follows ISTA or other nationally or internationally recognized testing rules.
The following list provides additional information about common concepts associated with care and storage of vegetable seed:
Primed Seed Planting and Storage
Some seed is primed, a process that brings the seed close to the point of germination. Priming is a seed enhancement technology widely used in the vegetable seed industry. It is applied to increase the emergence speed and uniformity of many crops. Because the priming process reduces the shelf life of seeds, primed seed should be planted in the same year it is primed. Seminis recommends primed seed be stored between 1° – 5°C (33.8° – 41°F). It should also have a germination test every three months.
Post Priming Technology
Post Priming Treatment is a seed enhancement technology that promotes better shelf life potential of a farmer’s primed seed. Not only will it improve seed longevity, Post Priming Technology also increases the potential for the seedlings to emerge faster, more uniformly and better equipped to withstand the stresses of a wider range of environmental conditions. Seminis Post Priming treatment is available for tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucurbits.
Seminis offers coating applications that contribute to optimum performance. Seminis pelleting is available on Seminis lettuce, onion, tomato and carrot seeds. The formulations used in our pelleting process combined with our advanced genetics, help to produce optimal performance in both harsh and normal climate conditions.