The seed supply chain is a complex system that spans across the globe which many seeds travel across several international borders or from fields around the world before planted by the end user: the commercial grower. Tomatoes seed production, for example, may circulate between five different countries before being planted in its final destination. Each location where the seed is produced/multiplied has its unique pathogens for its region that may not be present in the last destination field. Some of the disease pressures the end grower experience may be due to seed borne pathogens carried over from the seeds origin.
Why is seed cleaning important?
For baby leaf, Swiss chard producers, Bacterial Leaf Spot aka BLS can be devastating. In a matter of days, a perfectly healthy field that is about ready for harvest can be wiped out due to BLS introduced to your field by contaminated seed. Diseases such as Verticillium or Fusarium can transfer and infect your field via spinach seed. If your seed is contaminated, the disease may transfer to your soil with the potential of affecting your next crop rotation of lettuce resulting in yield loss.
Commonly referred to as seed disinfection, seed cleaning often is a hot water treatment to clean the seed of pathogens. Hot water seed cleaning methods run the risk of damaging your seeds germination and shelf life. For crops such as celery, hot water continues to be the standard method used to clean or disinfect celery seed from Septoria. For other crops such as Swiss chard, coriander, and beets Germains ProBio® gopure® is an organic disinfection process preferred by many organic growers. ProBio® gopure® is a certified organic process to remove seed borne pathogens such as Pseudomonas syringae pv.aptata from Swiss chard and beet seeds, and Pseudomonas syringae pv.coriandricola from coriander seeds.
Verticillium is a seed-borne fungus that when introduced to the soil can lead to infections in other species such as lettuce. Germains also offers a conventional seed treatment that is effective for controlling Verticillium. Gopure® powered by Rancona® Technology, is proven to have strong efficacy against the seed-borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, and other soil fungal and seed pathogens. Seed planted when it is infected with any of these diseases can have a dramatic impact on your yield when the crop becomes symptomatic it may no longer be possible to sell.
When purchasing your seeds, we highly recommend that you ask if the seed you are buying has been tested and or has undergone any disinfection treatment and or process. Having this conversation with your seed distributor can help you avoid seed borne pathogens so that you may improve your odds of achieving a good yield.