INDIANAPOLIS — Feb. 15, 2016 — Spring planting is just around the corner, and seed soon will leave the distribution facility and head toward your farm. Before receiving your seed, it’s important to prepare your facilities and equipment for trouble-free delivery and storage.
Jason Welker, Mycogen Seeds commercial agronomist, offers several steps to ensure seed quality, time efficiency and worker safety at planting time. “Now is the time to get ready to receive those seed bags, pallets and boxes,” Welker says. “A few preparations can save time and make spring planting easier and safer down the road.”
- Plan for seed storage. Make sure you have a readily accessible indoor area that is large enough to store the seed and still leave space to move equipment as needed. If you don’t have adequate storage, arrange to leave seed at the dealership until it’s needed for planting.
- Prepare facilities. A clean, dry storage area is essential to maintain seed purity and quality. Here’s a checklist:
- Sweep out your on-farm seed storage area to eliminate sand or debris that could hamper forklift operations when moving pallets and bags.
- Check for and repair roof or building leaks to keep seed from getting wet.
- Prevent seed damage by controlling bird and mice populations.
- Check facility ventilation and, if necessary, open doors to increase airflow.
- Replace any burned-out light bulbs in the storage area so you can read seed tags easily.
- Determine field planting order. It’s important to know which varieties you’ll be planting first, so the dealer can place your seed in the proper order in storage. A little preplanning can save time when you get busy. “In the rush of planting, you won’t want the seed you need first to be stuck behind other varieties,” Welker says.
- Check seed tags. After seed delivery, review bag tags or super box tags so you are aware of management guidelines for seed treatments. “Knowing these requirements in advance helps prevent slowdowns during planting,” Welker says.
- Maintain handling equipment. Check to make sure your tenders, conveyors and augers are in working order and ready for the season. Worn augers could damage seed and reduce germination.
- Stay safe. “During this hectic time, make safety a priority,” Welker says. He advises wearing personal protective equipment and long sleeves when handling seed to prevent contact with seed treatments should a bag or box break open. Also, avoid stacking pallets or bins more than four high and make sure seed containers are tied down adequately when transporting over the road.
“Attention to these preparations and precautions will help minimize downtime and pave the way for a successful planting season,” Welker says.