Seed Priming Technology & Storability at Germains Seed Technology

Germains is dedicated to delivering industry-leading seed treatments that provide value added solutions for Sugar Beet. Seed Priming technology is one of Germains’ key technology platforms available for Sugar Beet seed, but what exactly is seed priming and what are its benefits?

Seed Priming Technology: The Process

In Sugar Beet, establishing high and uniform final plant populations is an essential first step to ensure good crop yield performance. The earlier, the higher, the more rapid and uniform establishment can occur, the earlier the crop can start maximising its growth potential.

The priming process regulates seed temperature and moisture content, taking the seed through the early stages of the germination process.

The graph below outlines the priming process from production through to ‘post-primed’, out on the field.

Seed Priming Technology

Figure 1 – Shows the changes in seed water content during germination, Priming process and germination after Priming


The green line above corresponds to a standard germination process. During Phase 1, under sufficient temperature and moisture, seeds take up water. Phase 2: Biochemical processes are triggered that will eventually lead to germination in Phase 3.

During the priming, the seed is taken part way through Phase 2 and then the processes are stopped by drying the seed. Then on sowing in the field, once the temperature and moisture conditions are appropriate, the process starts again and germination is completed in a much shorter time.

Seed Priming Technology

Figure 2 – Emergence Highlighting the Difference between Unprimed and Xbeet® Sugar Beet Priming Technology

What are the Benefits of Priming?

Priming technology provides a number of benefits to maximise the seed’s potential:

  • Faster and more uniform emergence
  • Increases vigour for fast and strong plant development
  • Improves root uniformity to optimise harvesting efficiency
  • Increases yield potential

Seed Priming does not Increase Bolting

The propensity for the Sugar Beet crop to bolt is determined by:

  1. The level of exposure to low temperature (day degrees) the seedling is exposed to around emergence
  2. The genetics of the seed

Substantial research has been published Brooms Barn and British Sugar, concluding that primed Sugar Beet seed does not increase bolting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). In addition, over fourteen years of research with primed sugar beet seed in Europe and North America has provided no evidence to suggest an increase in bolting.

Storability of Primed Sugar Beet Seed

Our Sugar Beet priming methods have been developed to ensure primed seeds have good storability.  Aging methods can be used to investigate storability as shown in the graph below, demonstrating that the primed seed maintains a high germination in comparison to unprimed seed with increasing aging intensity.

Seed Priming Technology

Figure 3 – A Graph to Show the Aging of Unprimed versus Primed Sugar Beet Seed

In order to sustain germination, primed seed must be stored in a cool, dry and ventilated place (Figure 4). Any opened seed that is carried over to the next season should be stored in a sealed polythene bag. It is advised that seed should not be stored for more than 18 months.

Seed Priming Technology

Figure 4 – Germains’ Storage Advice

Learn More about our Seed Priming

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  1. Draycott, A. P. The advantage of Advantage on sugarbeet? (2006) British Sugar Beet Review, 74(1): 13-17
  2. Jarvis, P. J.  Patchett, M. R.  The effect of seed advancement treatment on the yield, quality and bolting susceptibility of the sugar beet crop. (1998) Aspects of Applied Biology, 52:39-44
  3. Durrant, M. J.  Mash, S. J. Effects of seed advancement and sowing date on establishment, bolting and yield of sugarbeet.  (1993) Journal of Agricultural Science, 121(3):333-341
  4. Durrant, M. J. Mash, S. J. Sugar-beet seed treatments and early sowing. (1990) Seed Science and Technology, 18(3): 839-850.
  5. Durrant, M. J.  Mash, S. J.   McCullagh, S.  Interactions between seed quality, emergence and bolting in sugar beet. (1990) Seed Science and Technology, 18(3):833-837
  6. Durrant, M. J.  Jaggard, K. Sugar-beet seed advancement to increase establishment and decrease bolting. (1988) Journal of Agricultural Science, 110(2):367-374