The 75th IIRB Congress: A focus on Priming and Storability of Sugar Beet Seed

Between the 16th and 17th February, Germains attended the International Institute for Beet Research (IIRB) congress in Brussels, Belgium. With a focus on research and development within the Industry, Germains have attended the event for many years presenting posters on recent research undertaken by our dedicated Research and Development teams. The posters can be downloaded by following the links below:

75th International Institue for Beet Research (IIRB) Congress

The 75th congress was attended by over 280 people from the beet industry, including researchers, breeders and others from the sugar industry. Presence of a wide international audience from different backgrounds, created an opportunity to discuss current challenges facing the Sugar Beet industry, as well as a chance for Germains to meet our customers.

Germains stand at IIRB Congress, Brussels

Germains’ stand at IIRB Congress, Brussels 

A focus on Priming and Storability of Sugar Beet Seed

The two day event focused on yield gap, mechanical weed control, topical pests and disease issues, and the quality and storage of beet. Two poster sessions were held providing insight into latest research findings in genetics and breeding, agronomy, plant nutrition, weed, pest and disease control, harvest, storage and beet quality, and communication and cooperation.

Germains' posters at the 75th IIRB Congress, Brussels

Germains’ posters at the 75th IIRB Congress, Brussels

Presenting two posters by our senior scientists, Jordan Long and Benjamin Odunlami, Germains posters presented recent research on the theme of priming and storability of sugar beet seed.  Further demonstrating Germains’ processes can ensure seed is safely stored up to 18 months in the correct conditions without loss of performance, the posters provided insight into the science behind the technologies used by Germains. Abstracts of the posters are detailed below, followed by links to download the posters.

Use of the seed viability equation to relate different storage conditions and predict shelf life of a seed lot
Jordan Long

ABSTRACT: In the UK, as in other countries, some treated seed is not used in the season it is produced and is stored for about 18 months before it is planted is the subsequent season. Stocks of unopened boxes of seed are stored in warehouse conditions at roughly 50% RH and 20°C on average. However this is not always the case, as some seed can be stored on farm under various conditions. Any seed, if not stored properly can deteriorate quite rapidly, especially if the storage conditions are damp and/or warm. Understanding what a difference of a few degrees in temperature or a few percent in relative humidity has on storage potential is useful when storing seed and managing stocks. The seed viability equation developed by Ellis and Roberts describes how seed populations deteriorate over time at different conditions of seed moisture and temperature. We have used the principles set out by the equation to calculate how long it will take under different conditions for seeds to deteriorate to the same level, and results from initial storage tests are confirming these predictions.

Effect of priming intensity on the storability of sugar beet seed
Jordan Long and Benjamin Odunlami

ABSTRACT: Priming/activation of sugar beet seeds gives many benefits to the grower, as a result of the faster more uniform emergence it provides. The faster emergence under the cool spring conditions maximises the amount of sunlight captured by the crop, and means the crop spends less time as small vulnerable plants. The improved uniformity of plant size makes crop management such as spray timings easier and it also optimises the harvesting performance. These ultimately lead to increased yields giving more income to the grower. As with most things you do not get something for nothing, and with priming there is optimal level between getting the fastest germination and emergence out of the seed and maintaining storability. Unprimed raw seed can be stored under cool dry conditions for many years. Primed seed can also be stored under cool dry conditions for several years, if the correct settings are used, however allowing the seed to go too far along the germination process during priming can dramatically reduce shelf life of the primed seed. Using accelerated storage conditions we have investigated different intensities of priming, to understand how aging affects germination speed and final germination.

For full research findings and conclusions, please download the posters by following the links above. For more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch or find out more about the priming process here.