Oregon State University

Micro-cleaning of Lots

Many individuals and companies (seed collectors, breeders, foundation seed managers) work with small quantities of very high value seeds. Such seeds may be naturally or accidentally contaminated with crops or weed seeds that are similar to the crop of interest. The contaminants cannot be separated with any machine, yet, they need a pure and clean original seeds as the basis of expensive commercial seed increase programs. The lab uses constant flow inspection stations and analytic skills to identify and separate any/all undesirable contaminants. This service delivers information plus a clean (selected) product to the customer. Depending on the amount of seed that needs to be cleaned and the difficult nature of the contaminant, this selection may require extensive time; in that case it can be scheduled for the weeks/months when the demand for standard testing is low.

Examples of recent tests include:

  • A grower from Nevada suspected presence of dodder in his alfalfa seeds. He brought two 50 lb bags of alfalfa for dodder search. The entire lot (100 lbs) was tested in the dodder mill and followed up with a visual examination under microscope.
  • Separate all contaminant seeds out of 50 lbs of foundation wheat seeds from a university. The seeds were the only source of original seeds for an increase program. Selected seed were returned to the customer.
  • Search and clean all seed contaminants out of 15 lb lot of Blue wildrye collected for a USDA project.  Sample was debearded, screened, blown and seed contaminants were removed to achieve a clean and pure lot for planting.
  • Cleaning of hand-harvested native grass seeds and separation of pure seeds of the desired species which was returned to the customer.

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
seedlab@oregonstate.edu

Hours: 8-5 Mon - Fri
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