Learn to Know The Beast

What exactly does it mean when a field inspector gives you a call and says, “I plan to be in your fields this week, just giving you a heads up!” That inspector is going to be walking your fields, taking six, 1,000 plant counts per field looking for variety off-types, weed pressure and types of… Continue reading

Wake Up Your Seeds with Coffee

It has been said that hot Coffee is a substitute for bleach in a seed test which can be used to measure seed coat damage which can relate to seed germination. It is sometimes referred to as the clorox Bleach Test. In this test seeds are soaked in a weak solution of bleach and water. … Continue reading

Seed Treatment

Same crop. Same variety. Same lot number. Yes, you did read that correctly. Everything about these two pictures below is the same, except one has seed treatment. The photo on the left showing the final germination of the untreated seed sample covered in aspergillus and fusarium (mold) and the right shows the treated seed germination,… Continue reading

What Are Those Heart Shaped Seeds?

…Velvetleaf! We found some Velvetleaf weed seeds a few weeks ago in a wheat sample that was sent in for a germination test. This photo was taken at a magnification of 7x. These seeds are very distinct, making a ‘heart shape’ just as do the leaves of this plant. During the season, this plant has… Continue reading

The Benefits of Certified Seed

Why plant Certified Seed? Why not use grain in the bin? This is a common question raised by all farmers at one time or another. Many take a backward approach of “what can I get by with?” rather than “what is best for top production?” Planting certified seed is a key ingredient to top yields…. Continue reading

Wheat Season in the Lab

It has been a good year for wheat testing so far. Over 300 samples have been processed in the lab with the average germination for red wheat of 97.08% and 97.99% for white wheat. Quality was very good with little disease pressure. This year’s bright seed allowed very good identification of contrasting classes such as… Continue reading

MCIA Installs Q-Sage Precision Air Screen Cleaner

In June, MCIA completed the purchase of a Q-SAGE Precision Air Screen Cleaner, this replaced the retired Crippen Fanning mill. Made in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, this state-of-the-art addition to our seed cleaning procedure will provide increased capacity while distributing excellent seed and grain processing. The Q-SAGE upgrade will deliver optimal mill function with a 4-s… Continue reading


Is sprouting good or a bad? The answer depends on the application. For most of us, sprouted wheat is on our mind – which is bad. But we can learn something from the malting industry where sprout is a good thing. Malt is a result of sprouted barley. Barley is exposed to all the conditions… Continue reading

Tetrazolium Test (TZ Test)

Tetrazolium Test (TZ Test) using Triphenyl Chloride The TZ test is a quick, mostly 24-hour test used to estimate germination and seed lot vigor. Farmers will request this TZ test in conjunction with a germination test, theoretically both ending test results should be similar. First the seeds are imbibed with water, then soaked in a… Continue reading

Be on Weed Watch for Black Nightshade

Black Nightshade is a weed that you do not want in your field as a producer in the Seed Industry. Above are pictures of Nightshade at three different growth stages that found in soybean fields last inspection season. A very distinct description of this weed is the berries on the plant, along with white/light pink… Continue reading