Field Notes

MN-Pearl oat. Photo by Dylan VanBoxtel. © Regents of the University of Minnesota.

By Kris Folland, Field Services Manager

Almost every grain elevator has the following quote posted on the wall, “Quality is like buying oats. If you want nice, clean, fresh oats, you must pay a fair price. However, if you can be satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse . . . that comes a little cheaper.”

While that adage holds true, there are many instances in which certified seed is of the same or lower cost than low-quality seed, because the grower is assured of pure live seed, the absence of noxious weed seed and excess inert material, and payback at harvest. In the case of cover crops, the seeding rate of certified seed is lower, and therefore less costly, than low-quality seed, which may spread weeds, not grow as well, and otherwise cause problems in your fields.

Certified seed and related programs that assure buyers of the quality and identity of seed or grain purchased continue to be of great value. MCIA certification programs, along with our partnerships with organizations such as the Specialty Soya and Grains Alliance and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, are meeting important needs in the seed and grain industries. Demand for these services remains strong.

It is well known that seed of known genetics, tested to certification standards, and accurately labeled is valued favorably in the marketplace. Unfortunately, every year companies ask us after the inspection season if their seed can still be certified. We must tell them that after harvest is too late. Make plans now to have your seed sources identified, tested, approved for planting, and have your fields inspected to certification standards.

Our Field Inspect Only Program works well for private company genetics and standards because we can customize inspections and an entire seed production program to your needs.

Spring will soon be sprung. MCIA Field Services is here to work alongside you and start the growing season on the right track.

Field Notes

Photo by ArjanneHolsappel from Pixabay.

By Kris Folland, Field Services Manager

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” —Robert Louis Stevenson

For those of us who work in the seed, certification, and identity preserved business that quote certainly rings true. Even though the dust is still settling on harvest, the seed sources for next spring need to be conditioned, tested, and pass the standards for the appropriate seed class. Make plans now for the varieties you intend to plant and be certain you have the seed source needed. Foundation and registered seed class produce certified eligible seed. Certified seed does not produce certified seed.

MCIA’s Field Services staff is always busy with programs outside of certification. The winter season is a great time to discuss the Field Inspect Only Program, which continues to grow and evolve as MCIA inspects fields to company standards. These field inspections may be reported on your company iPad or phone apps, on paper reports, or any other method that works for you, along with an MCIA field inspection report. As your company continues to look for improvements in quality and efficiency in your seed production, MCIA is here to help. Feel free to give the MCIA staff a call anytime to discuss how we can meet your needs.

Field Notes

Oat field inspection. Photo: © Regents of the University of Minnesota.

By Kris Folland, Field Services Manager

The MCIA Field Services staff and field inspection team is well positioned geographically and well trained in all areas of field inspections. One of the largest parts of the MCIA field inspection program, outside of certification, is the “Field Inspect Only” program. These field inspections are conducted according to the applicant’s requirements. Used primarily by large private seed and genetics companies, these inspections are often based on certification and/or company standards for varietal purity, isolation, and other field specifications.

MCIA field staff has decades of experience matching variety descriptions and applying purity standards as high as 100 percent. Documenting exact varietal descriptions and offtypes found can be another valuable tool for seed companies and producers. The field staff eagerly conducts field reporting on company iPads, cell phone field applications, and paper copies.

There is still time to apply for field inspection and consult with MCIA about your seed field inspection. Feel free to give us a call any time to discuss your needs.

Seed growers requesting certification and other field inspection are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible along with proof of seed source. Due dates are upon us and having applications in hand helps us plan for an efficient and cost-effective inspection season. If you have any changes to your field inspection applications or issues including reseeding, please let us know.

To producers of noxious weed seed–free forage and mulch: Remember applications are due within four weeks of cutting. Contact your field supervisor with any questions about this program.

By the time this column is posted, MCIA field inspectors will be inspecting perennial grasses, natives, and rye. Flower inspections in soybeans will not be far behind. With the inspection season approaching, isolations should be established where needed. If you notice any issues with your seed fields, such as potential variety contamination issues, other crop mixture, or anything that may compromise the integrity of your seed, please contact and inform your field supervisor prior to inspection and harvest.

As always, let us know of any questions or needs you may have. Whether you are an independent seed grower or a large company, the Field Services staff enjoy working with each of you. We are here to serve the needs of our members, no matter the size of their operation.