Seed: Quality standards and storage tips

Germination test small

The Canada Seeds Act requires all certified seed meet minimum standards for germination on the day it’s sold. Whether seed is grown this year, last year or the year before that, certified No.1 canola must have 90% germination or better at the time of sale. Certified No.2 must have 80-89% germination. The seller is responsible to make sure seed complies with the grade on the tag.

Blending: Canada Seeds Act standards also apply to blending, which can be an important tool in balancing seed size and performance from bag to bag. Seed companies can blend different lots of the same variety, and this will show up as “Blend” on the seed tag. Blends must meet the minimum standards for the stated grade.

For more on this, see the article “Carryover seed keeps in shape,” on page 18 of the November 2010 issue of Canola Digest.

Seed storage tips: Keep new and carryover seed cool and dry. A cold machine shed is better than a heated shop. AAFC research has found that No.1 certified canola seed stored at 2°C or cooler and at less than 8% moisture will maintain its minimum 90% germination for at least 20 months.