Often during the course of harvesting and transporting seeds a substantial percentage can become dead, damaged and diseased resulting in poor growth percentages. Others may exhibit undesirable traits such as slow or erratic germination.
Seed Tek offers two cutting edge approaches to upgrading seed lots.
The first is PREVAC, which identifies and removes seeds that are not likely to complete germination. This is followed by IDS. which classifies seed lots into various fractions depending on seed vigor. The following section will outline these processes in detail.
Originally developed in Sweden, the PREVAC system is a technique that allows seed lots to be improved by first identifying then separating seeds that are dead or damaged through a multi-stage screening process.
Specimens in the seed lot that have undergone mechanical damage are isolated and later separated by means of a partial vacuum. Damaged seeds take on water which cause them to sink while viable seeds are left floating.
1. Seeds are placed in pressurized chamber with water, sucking the air out of damaged seeds.
2. Afterwards pressure is returned to normal levels causing water to enter these seeds.
3. This results in the damaged seeds weighing more than the rest, causing them to sink to the bottom of the PREVAC container.
4. Finally the sound seeds rise to the surface where they are collected and spin-dried before any additional upgrading processes are used.
IDS is a seed treatment method that improves germination the capacities of seed lots. This is accomplished by a multi-stage process focused on the fact that dead seeds are not able to retain moisture while living seeds do this with ease. The process involves incubation in high humidity environment followed by drying and separation.
The unique quality of the IDS process is that germination vigor can also be improved aside from basic sorting of dead and living seeds. The flume device seen on the left is responsible for sorting seeds into various compartments depending on their germination potential. In the end this makes ‘single-seed' sowing possible which translates to lower thinning and supplementing costs when raising containerised plants; in some cases they can be entirely eliminated!
Throughout multiple stages of PREVAC and IDS moisture statistics as well as ratios of dead to living seeds are taken so that a comprehensive picture is painted of progress during each component of the two procedures. By taking weight and moisture readings and referring to species-specific values we are able to accurately assess and calculate the improved germination percentages for each seed lot.