Tried & True Seed Quality Control Measures Are in Place
While many in our industry have voiced concerns about soybean seed quality for 2019 planting due to extremely wet conditions during the 2018 harvest season, the quality control measures that Latham Hi-Tech Seeds has had in place for years have served us and our customers very well.
Below are a few highlights of steps we take to ensure the very best quality seed for Latham customers:
- Harvest Protocol– The majority of Latham® soybeans are brought to our Alexander, Iowa, plant upon harvest. These soybeans are kept under the watchful eye of Latham Production Plant Manager Greg Jaacks and his well-trained team. The Production Team uses a hand probe to take samples of every load of soybeans that crosses our scale. Each soybean variety is then stored in a separate bin; each bin is monitored daily to ensure the seed does not go out of condition before it’s bagged or boxed. Some varieties are not grown near our Alexander plant, so we work with trusted family-owned seed conditioning partners that have a reputation for providing top quality.
- Careful Conditioning– Throughout the process of taking the seed from the bin and placing it into bags or boxes, Latham’s Production Team carefully handles the seed each step of the way. Air screens and scalper screens remove sticks and pods. Sifter screens remove splits and small soybeans. Fans remove dust and dirt. Additional separator equipment ensures even shape, form and density. The results of this intensive process can be observed in each and every finished unit of Latham brand soybeans.
- Quality Over Quantity– Throughout the process, quality is top priority as opposed to the speed of conditioning and bagging. Our production process slows when winter temperatures fall below 10 degrees and will halt completely when temps hit zero; other companies continue to condition seed although it can severely affect seed integrity and germination.
One final concern I’ve heard about the 2018 soybean crop is the moisture level. Last year, harvest moistures varied wildly throughout the season. Soybeans dried down, got rained on, dried down again, got wet again, and this cycle continued several more times. As of press time for this article, we have not had those wild fluctuations for the 2018 crop. I believe that, while our weather has been far from ideal, the soybeans have not gone through that constant shrinking and swelling that causes seed coats to weaken. If we can catch the majority of the 2018 crop when the seed is dry, we should be better off this year than last. There is research from the southern U.S. and South America that backs up this theory.
Rest assured that everyone here at Latham Seeds is doing his or her very best to provide you and all Latham customers with the highest quality seed possible!