04 June 1998
New seed test could save farmers millions

By FWi staff

A TEST which sorts seeds according to their ability to germinate could save farmers millions, claim experts in the Netherlands.

The test measures the ripeness of seeds by assessing chlorophyll content, according to this weeks New Scientist. Chlorophyll content dictates seeds germination ability.

The Dutch scientists have discovered that seeds retain their chlorophyll for many years so long as they are kept dry. When seeds become moistened, chlorophyll breaks down and seeds germinate.

The test identifies the optimal chlorophyll levels for ripeness and then sorts the seeds. It is being commercialised by Satake USA, a company based in Houston, Texas.