The 2019 wheat harvest was affected by severe Fusarium head blight (head scab) in eastern and central Kansas. This disease can reduce germination dramatically in some cases, as well as makes reading and understanding a germination test much more difficult. Having your seed professionally tested for germination is always a good practice, but in this instance, it is highly recommended.
To have an official germination test on the seed, send a two-pound sample to:
Kansas Crop Improvement Association
2000 Kimball Ave.
Manhattan, KS 66502
A germination test will cost $17.00 and a sample submittal form can be printed off from the KCIA website: www.kscrop.org/seed-lab.html
If producers want to test their seed for germination at home, it needs to be done correctly to be of value. The following detailed procedure is taken (and slightly modified) from K-State Extension publication AF-82, “Seed Germination Test Methods.”
Place the roll in a plastic bag. Seal, but not completely, so as to keep moisture in but still allow some air into the bag.
For newly harvested seed:
For carryover seed, or after September 1:
To calculate the germination percentage: divide the number of healthy seedlings by the number of seed tested and multiply by 100.
Example: 42 healthy seedlings X 100 = 84% germination
50 seeds tested
This may be repeated more times for each sample in order to obtain more accurate results, testing up to 400 seed.
Eric Fabrizius, Kansas Crop Improvement Association, Seed Laboratory Manager