Senwes Scenario Augustus / September 2015 - Page 27

HA N D E L SN UUS ••• ABOVE - A LAB TECHNICIAN SORTS SEEDS FOR CLASSIFICATION. RIGHT – SEEDS ARE PUT THROUGH A SIEVE FOR SIZING AND THEN COLOURED ACCORDING TO THE SEED COMPANY’S BRAND. • • • • • Barley Speckled beans Oats Rye Sunflower “It is very important for producers to use the best seed. Our laboratory will analyse and test seed for germination and growth qualities. The seed companies invest a lot of time and research into making sure that their product contains the best genetic ingredients for a successful end product. “We don’t get involved in the genetics of the seed at all. We process according to the criteria mentioned. Thereafter we will treat the seed with a growth stimulant, fungicide and colouring. The colouring is essential to differentiate different seed brands and it has no negative impact on the seed whatsoever.” BROWN-BAGGING Some farmers engage in “brownbagging”, which is a term used to describe the farming practice of re-using seed which the farmer withholds. It creates problems for the seed producers because it has an impact on their production levels insofar as how much will be needed for the market from one year to the next for planting. It’s a big problem in South Africa, especially with wheat, rye and soya beans according to Ben. Besides processing the best seed, Ben says, “the plant has established a small packaging division, where smaller quantities (1-50kg) of its own product are packaged under the Grainlink brand. About 3 years ago, as an added value offering, we started to