Seed processing is the preparation of harvested seed for marketing to farmers. The processes involved include drying, threshing, pre-cleaning, cleaning, size grading, treating, quality testing, packaging and labeling.
Seed lots received from the field are often at high moisture content and contain trash and other inert material, weed seeds, deteriorated and damaged seeds, off-size seeds, etc. The processing of seed is necessary in order to dry the seeds to safe moisture level; remove or reduce to the extent possible the various undesirable material, weed seeds, other crop seeds, deteriorated or damaged seeds.
Objective of Seed Processing
The objective is to obtain the maximum percentage of pure seed with maximum germination potential.
Requirement in Seed Processing
- There should be complete separation
- There should be minimum seed loss
- Upgrading should be possible for any particular quality
- There should be have more efficiency
- It should have only minimum requirement
Apart from enhanced purity, health and germination, well-cleaned and good quality seeds have other benefits, all of which increase their market value: improved visual appearance, reduced seed rate, uniform emergence and crop stand, high yield and long shelf-life.
Steps involved in Seed Processing
The major steps involved in processing are:
- Drying: To avoid any negative effects of high moisture, the seed has to be dried as the seed normally contains very high moisture content at the time of harvesting
- Cleaning: To make the seed suitable for cultivation, impurities like weeds, immature seeds inert matters, infected seeds, other crop seeds have to be removed.
- Separating or Upgrading
- Treating (Drying)
- Storage or Shipping
Types of materials removed
- Inert materials
- Common weed seeds
- Noxious weed seeds
- Deteriorated seeds
- Damaged seeds
- Other crop seeds
- Other variety seeds
- Off-size seeds
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