Mary Voorhees, in-house RST for SeedX Labs is the germination star of YouTube- see wheat germination filmed at the request of a client while Mary worked for California Crop Improvement - Over 2800 views!
Congratulations to all our flower seed clients for another successful flower trial tour!
Each April thousands prospective flower buyers descend on flower and vegetable seed companies from Salinas to Gilroy, where clients are invited to take in new developments where traditional breeding programs offer home gardeners the latest developments in flower color, disease tolerance and environmental improvements.
Over the past ten years the flower trials have grown in popularity and attendance. Originally only about five seed companies participated in the California trials. Today, over 20 companies from Salinas to Gilroy open their greenhouse doors to prospective buyers and put on their most remarkable flower displays.
Following the tours, several seed companies donate their displays to various charities in their respective communities. Goldsmith Seeds in Gilroy, now owned by Syngenta, is known for the largest community flower sale, where hundreds of Rotarians run the charitable event in Gilroy to benefit youth programs and to fund scholarships for students in the Gilroy Area.
For the past few years Sakata has donated their displays to benefit the pets in the Salinas area, where a weekend sale is open to the public and proceeds are donated to the Salinas Animal Services on Hitchcock Road in Salinas.
This year the SeedX Lab staff was thrilled to be invited by several clients to attend this year's flower trials.
Most popular this year appeared to be the trend toward companion gardening; where edible flowers and vegetables are grown in beautiful displays that promote healthy eating and local growing.
The 2016 SeedX Lab Staff pick for their own personal gardens this year: Sakata's SunPatiens, which are grown, bred and sold with integrity to traditional breeding programs and which offer home gardeners the beautiful and prolific look of impatiens capable of growing in hot sunny garden locations.
SeedX Lab Staff Pick for best outside display, goes once again to Goldsmith Seeds , now Syngenta, in Gilroy .
If you ever wonder what happens to all the flower seed tested in California... much of it may end up helping to make our home gardens a bit more beautiful.
Seed testing labs usually have routine schedules. SeedX labs are anything but routine. SeedX has already assisted local police solve area crime, uncovered lettuce seed mysteries and now is moving on to assist clients with their marvelous melons. Here is a SeedX lab action shot of RST Mary Voorhees planting watermelon seeds for germination reports. Do your melon seeds need to see more action? Send them in, and get ready for melon season!
The 2016 SeedX Photo Contest will help clients in the seed industry see their seed during all phases of production, processing and testing. The local Seed X Labs facility in Salinas allows clients to do even more. In addition to certified tests that follow ISTA and AOSA rules, the lab allows clients to come in an see their seed, and discover what a report might not tell. Seed can be seen at all stages to identify additional processing needs, or disease possibilities that may create issues for farmers later on. Mary Voorhees, the lab's RST, always welcomes clients to come in and see their seed at any stage during the testing cycle. To contact Mary call the lab at 831-718-9998.
Within hours of announcing the 2016 SeedX Lab photo contest, photos began to stream in and many clients are searching their files for more photos to share. This shot was provided by Merv Selvidge and shows an organic lettuce seed production field from 2015. Lettuce seed production involves forcing the lettuce plant to bolt, making it hard to recognize a seed production field as lettuce. When the plants go to seed a billow of cotton-like flowers cover the field and can be quite beautiful. It takes months of hot weather, the right isolation, and costly labor just to get that little lettuce seed produced for commercial markets. It is quite an art and the companies that produce the seed for 80% of the world's salad, all started from the talented people found right here in Salinas, California, the Salad Bowl of the World.
Beet seeds beam off a bright red color from the moment they start to germinate. Have a cool photo of a seed , or seed in the production or germination phase? Send us your photo and compete for SeedX Labs photo award in 2016. Winners will receive a professionally framed seed photo and lunch in Salinas near the SeedX Lab. Winners announced July 1, 2016. Send your entry in electronic form to firstname.lastname@example.org
If your company is in the seed business, this is the most interesting time of year for seed testing. Those in the " know" about seed know just what a lab can tell about inventory, sales and demand for the upcoming year.
Locally owned seed labs have the agility to deviate from standard tests, upon request. That means that growers and seed sellers can raise or lower temperatures for testing, to give an indication of how certain lots will before in the ground.
SeedX has been busy with custom tests that do just that; assist growers, greenhouse managers, transplant managers, dealers and seed breeders with custom testing. SeedX's room germination units have the capacity of 20 stand alone germinators, capable of running up to 50 tests at a time for a single client. Stand alone germinators can be set for temperatures similar to those found in Yuma this time of year. These separate units can also be turned down to mimic the cold temperatures found in Salinas and South County in January.
Clients are welcome to visually inspect seed in the lab during the germination process. Observation combined with written reports often lend toward better planting decisions, production bookings and sales indicators. Knowing the quality of your seed before you try to sell it is an invaluable tool.
SeedX has been busy with custom germs , purities and custom tests for clients throughout California. Want to know more about your seed for the upcoming 2016 year ? Call us to find out about the custom testing we can offer.
Mark your calendar. The end of the year should signal time for shelf life testing and donations to get those precious tax deductions or even a PR perk by donating seed that might not be suited for 2016 sales.
Vegetable seed inventories on farms and in dealer or breeder/ producer inventories can be impacted by moisture, temperature and storage conditions that can impact seed quality, making it unfit for commercial sales.
Financially, the end of the year is the best time to perform basic germination and vigor testing to help determine the best in inventory options and planning for 2016 seed sales.
Poor and unsellable seed lots should be destroyed or donated for tax write offs before we hit December 31st.
For seed that is not patent protected, donations are an excellent option. Consider research and training facilities such as the USDA and UC Davis Extension programs in Salinas. Local schools, neighborhood garden non-profits in larger cities and even the Whole Kids Foundation, that provides garden grants to schools throughout the country welcome seed donations and can provide your company and a little PR perk as well.
Consult with your CPA, most donations and destruction of seed inventories are a tax write off, just before you do it before the end of the year. So test, stock, destroy, donate and write off, then your seed inventory will be ready to go as we ring in 2016.
SeedX offers shelf life germination bulk testing at reduced rates when AOSA certificates are not required.
It seems simple, look at the seed and if it looks good, it must be ready to sell. Not so fast. It is seed harvest time, and that means purity and moisture tests as well as proper seed counts must be done in order to comply with seed labeling laws.
2015 seed production crops are in milling facilities across the country. It is important to make sure your seed testing lab offers testing performed by a Registered Seed Technologist, RST, so that seed can be properly labeled, shipped and sold without contamination from noxious weeds or poor milling quality.
Our lab has been busy with purity testing on everything from barley and beans to spinach, lettuce and endive. Tests can be turned around in one day for rush samples to get seed ready to be properly shipped and labeled.
SeedX Labs is also one of the only seed labs in California to offer seed counts and moisture tests, critical tests needed for seed harvest, storage and sales.