CFAES Give Today
Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


High-Quality Seed and Seed Treatment

Purchase only high-quality seed that has been thoroughly cleaned to remove shriveled kernels and that has a germination of 90 percent or better. All seed should be treated with a seed-treatment fungicide to control seed-borne diseases such as loose smut, common bunt, Fusarium scab, and Stagonospora glume blotch. However, since no single active ingredient will provide adequate protection against all of these diseases, use a seed treatment that consists of a mixture of active ingredients. Avoid planting wheat seeds with more than 30 to 40 percent scabby kernels. However, if you do have to plant scabby wheat, cleaning, germ test, and fungicide seed treatment are absolutely necessary. Cleaning will get rid of light, scabby materials, and this will naturally increase the test weight of the lot. If you can increase the test weight to about 56 pounds per bushel after cleaning and your germination rate is above 80 percent, then you will have decent quality seed. Gravity table would be your best option for cleaning. In addition to cleaning and treating, seeds should be stored under cool, dry conditions until planting to prevent mold development. Blending of scabby wheat with healthy wheat is another good option to increase the overall quality of the lot. Increasing the seeding rate will also be helpful, but you should determine percent germination first―this will help you to adjust your seeding rate accordingly.