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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Saving Soybean Seed for Next Year

Soybean Fields in Northwest Ohio June 22, 2015

Due to wet weather, a few farmers in northwest Ohio have not yet planted soybean.  Can this soybean seed be saved and planted next year? 

1.)  Check with your seed dealer.  Your seed dealer may have options available to return seed.  Check with your seed dealer to see what your options are.

2.)  Store seed in a climate and humidity controlled environment.  High temperature and relative humidity increases the rate of seed deterioration.  Iowa State University researchers found when soybean seed was stored in a non-climate controlled warehouse (temperature ranging 18-82°F and relative humidity ranging 37-74%), the seed did not maintain adequate quality.  Seed that was put into controlled cold storage (50-52°F and 53-67% relative humidity) or warm storage (77-79°F and 20-42% relative humidity) resulted in seed that could be safely held for the next season’s planting.

3.)  Test seed quality before planting.  If seed is to be saved for next year’s planting, make sure to test the seed quality before planting.  At minimum, the warm germination test is needed to adjust seeding rate.  (The warm germination test is used to determine under optimum conditions the percentage of seed able to germinate in a given lot.)  Other indicators of quality include the cold germination test (stress test which simulates cold, wet conditions as an indicator of seed vigor) and the accelerated aging test (relative vigor level of the seed).  All three tests are available through the Ohio Seed Improvement Association (    

Reference:  Mbofung, G.C.Y., A.S. Goggi, L.F.S. Leandro, and R.E. Mullen.  2013.  Effects of storage temperature and relative humidity on viability and vigor of treated soybean seeds.  Crop Sci. 53:1086-1095.

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.