Oregon State University

Inert Training for the Seed Industry 2011

If you face high inert problems in your grass seed, help is available!

Most seed cleaners have improved in cleaning out inert. Occasionally, however, some people are still facing problems. Last year, for example, 160 tall fescue samples showed more than 2% inert and 235 perennial ryegrass samples showed more than 3% inert. These results lead to re-cleaning, which increases costs and causes delays or missed sale opportunities. If they don’t re-clean they cannot meet their quality standards and have to settle for reduced price. None of these options are good.

How can we help you?

We can show you how you can recognize high inert problems. For example, in both images below, there is inert material. Some types of inert are easy to recognize; others are not. Come to the lab or invite us to come over to your warehouse and we will be happy to show you how to distinguish them.


If you want to come to the lab: Simply call us. Tell us your crop of interest and when you want to come. Feel free to invite your seed cleaning staff or office staff and spend the time you need with us. Allow 2 hours for good hands-on demonstrations. If you want to spend more time to learn other related techniques or how other tests are done you will be more than welcome.

If you want us to come to your warehouse: Call us. This approach is good if you already have a basic “internal quality assurance ” equipment such as a purity board, blower, magnifiers, good light, etc. This on-site approach is good to do things under your own conditions. If you don’t have such equipment, let us know and we will bring a set for the demonstration.

Expected benefits

Finding inert problems after you receive a test report from a lab is too late. You have already lost a lot of  time and money. The most efficient and cost-effective system is to detect the inert problem when you are cleaning the seed. When you learn some simple techniques, you or someone that operates your seed-cleaning equipment can be checking for inert along the cleaning process of every seed lot. This preventive approach will take you a long way in terms of efficiency, cost reduction, and meeting quality standards.

This service will be available during April and May for growers, cleaners and dealers. If there are requests from distant counties, we may be able to go and conduct a group demonstration. Just let us know.  

Contact Info

The OSU Seed Laboratory is an AOSA and ISTA member lab and is ISTA Accredited Laboratory US07.

3291 SW Campus Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone: 541-737-4464
Fax: 541-737-2126

Hours: 8-5 Mon - Fri
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