In northeastern North Carolina, most farmers do not save their own seed
- soybeans, wheat, or other small grains. It used to be fairly common a few
years ago for some farmers to save soybean or small grain seeds to plant the
following year. A study done in one of the northeastern NC counties several
years ago indicated that farmer saved soybean seeds in some cases were as good
or better than commercially purchased seeds - for germination, noxious weeds,
etc. The biggest factor in determining that was what the farmer did. If they
selected seed from weed-free fields under good growing conditions and cleaned
them and handled them properly, the seed quality was excellent. Small grain
seed that is saved may have a tendency to increase the incidence of disease in
the next crop (on our farm we had more rust in oats in our saved seeds - even
without rust being evident in the first crop- than in purchased seeds).
Because of the seed laws, it is sometimes difficult for farmers to know
which varieties can be saved, or saved with the possibility of selling excess
seed to your neighbor. It also takes time and effort to do it right, and many
farmers today will use that time and effort in other management practices that
may give greater return. Also local growing conditions during a given crop
year may make seeds produced of lower quality to start with than commercially
produced seeds which may be grown under more favorable conditions. With
certified seed, you are often in a better position to know what you are
On Jan 27, 4:39pm, Bill Liebhardt wrote:
> Subject: saving seed
> At a seminar yesterday on the terminator technology it was stated that most
> midwestern farmers do not save much seed anymore. I am curious if this is
> the fact with soybeans, small grain and other crops which are not hybrids.
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>-- End of excerpt from Bill Liebhardt
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