The basics of seed storage
A number of environmental factors influences the seeds of different plant species, including air humidity, temperature in the storage facility or in the package, gas exchange, the composition of the atmosphere. The maturity degree and the nature of the product, as well as microflora, also greatly influence seed storage quality and time.
First of all, temperature and moisture have a detrimental or beneficial effect on the seed storage. The lower optimal parameters are, the longer seeds remain viable, and suitable for sowing and eating.
It is possible to increase the seed storage time with no loss of quality by reducing the temperature by 5 degrees or moisture by 1 degree. The equilibrium moisture content of the seeds may slightly vary depending on the variety and the type of plants. Unmoistened seeds perfectly retain their qualities at subzero temperatures. Under too low temperatures, the biochemical seeds activity stops, but this does not affect their germination at all. The seeds just go into a state of deep anabiosis.
"Critical" moisture can vary depending on the seed type. The absorption capacity depends on the morphological structure and chemical composition. Resistance to dehydration depends on the thickness of cover and nutrients supply inside the seed. Artificial air-drying with hot air and good ventilation is used for seed preparation to optimize the seed storage. Another way is to distribute the seed bulk over hygroscopic compounds (calcium chloride, silica gel, calcium oxide) to absorb the seed wet steams.
Oilseeds and starchy seeds are more resistant to imbibition; on the contrary, seeds with a high content of albumin (cereals and legumes) are less resistant to moisture absorption.
Storing of the seeds at low pressure reduces breathing intensity and increases longevity. We use the controlled atmosphere modes RGS (controlled atmosphere) and MGS (modified atmosphere) to optimize the gas exchange.
Before putting the seeds for storage, our specialists ensure that the fractions do not have any mechanically damaged seeds. They are easily infected by microorganisms and then infect healthy grain. If the grain germs are infected with mold, the germination will suddenly decrease due to non-compliance with the moisture parameters.