Large fluctuations in the germination of cereals


<div>According to Evira’s preliminary germination and plant disease results, the germination of the cereal seed harvest of the 2008 season varies greatly. Based on the results from unsorted seed lots, low germination was a problem especially with oats. There may become a shortage of oat seed. The situation with seed-borne plant diseases looks similar to that of last year based on the first results. </div>

In the samples a whole range of germination defects has been found: fungal, harvesting, heat and frost damage. Due to the unstable weather conditions the farmers have been forced to harvest the seed whilst the moisture content was too high. Some lots were maybe dried at rather high temperatures, as there was an urgency to get the next lot into the dryer. If the cereal seed is harvested when too moist, it will easily be damaged in the combine and fungi will attack the broken seeds. Damp seed that has ripened unevenly can get mould and heat damage also when in the trailer waiting to get into the dryer.

The frosty nights of the early autumn affected part of the crops. The cold weather at the ripening stage has also initiated a strong dormancy for some varieties. In Evira’s laboratory the dormancy is broken by special treatments and the results presented in the statistics correspond to the actual germination capacity of the samples.

For more information please contact:
Senior Researcher Sinikka Köylijärvi, Evira, tel. 020 77 25350

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