Is dry soybean seed an issue for 2012?
A quick home test, called Chlorox Soak Test, can provide useful germination determination. Information on the “Chlorox Soak Test” was provided to us by Dr. Brent Turnipseed, Professor and Manager of the South Dakota State University Seed Testing Lab. Briefly, the test requires:
- Mix three fluid ounces of chlorox in one gallon of water.
- Count out one or more 100-seed lots, depending on accuracy desired.
- Remove all “splits” or obviously broken seed, and place each 100 seeds in a separate tray.
- Pour a sufficient amount of chlorox-water solution over the seed so all are covered.
- After 10-15 minutes, pour off the chlorox-water from each tray and spread out the seed on a paper towel so they may be counted.
- Count the number of swollen seeds in each 100-seed lot. Swollen seed are damaged seed, and likely will not contribute to stands.
Swollen seed typically should not exceed 10 percent, or 10 of the 100 seed in each lot. This test can be used when harvesting seed to confirm combine operation is not damaging seed, or any other time seed are handled at seed plants or farmsteads prior to planting.
This year it will be extremely important to consider pure live seed and seed germination when determining seeding rates. Keep in mind research studies have documented that about 100,000 soybean plants per acre at harvest will provide optimal yield in most Iowa environments. Planting sufficient seed to obtain a suitable stand is important, but planting excessive amounts of seed reduces profitability of soybean production. Knowing the germination percentage of each seed lot is important in developing the most profitable planting rates by Iowa farmers.