Soybean Seed Quality Project

Seed is the foundation of crop production, and it is a major investment for producers. Seed quality and understanding what factors influence seed quality may mean the difference in establishing a uniform stand and a stand failure. Seed quality is complex. Several factors influence seed quality including variety, purity, weather, insects, diseases, harvest moisture, handling and storage. Good quality seed, with high germination and vigor, is key to establishing a strong, uniform stand. Arkansas varies in climate and geology making seed quality more important than in uniform production regions.

Germination and vigor are key components used to forecast seed quality. Germination, required by law to be provided for all seed sold, is what you can expect under favorable moisture and temperature conditions. Seed vigor indicates the seed’s ability to germinate and establish “healthy” seedlings under stressful conditions. Both germination and vigor are quick and inexpensive lab tests that provide information about seed quality.

The Arkansas Soybean Seed Quality Project is a collaborative research and education initiative with objectives designed to:

• Determine factors influencing soybean seed germination and vigor results.

• Determine a relationship between seed quality and field emergence under Arkansas conditions.

• Educate Arkansas producers about seed quality and vigor testing.


Photos by Debby Monfort