In agriculture, the issue of seed selection, sorting, breeding, and saving is important. Although essential, this practice has yet to be known to some farmers. However, seed sorting is advantageous on many points, especially for an industrial-scale operation. On the one hand, sorting aims to select the best seeds and thus keep the products’ quality. On the other hand, it improves the products (grains) intended for sale. In any case, there are several ways to proceed with this case, and to choose; it is necessary to take into account the prerequisites of the exploitation project.
What Is Seed Sorting?
Seed sorting is a process in which grains from a farm are separated according to defined characteristics. There are two types of sorting: contract sorting and on-farm sorting. The choice of technique depends on the kind of grain desired and the purpose for which it is to be used.
More and more farmers are beginning to consider the benefits of seed sorting. However, only a tiny portion of them use the services of a professional for sorting. Soliciting a specialist allows one to optimize the yield and control the quality of the products better.
What are the advantages of seed sorting?
There are many reasons for farmers to proceed with seed sorting.
It is a way to obtain quality seed at a reduced cost
Economic benefits are among the most commonly cited reasons for seed sorting. Indeed, producing your own seed saves up to 80 euros/ha. However, this economic advantage does not ensure the quality of the seed, hence the need for professional intervention.
Sorting the seeds to isolate the specific characteristics of each variety
Each seed has different characteristics. These are essential criteria for choosing the type of seed that corresponds to a particular climatic condition and thus improve or protect the harvest.
Furthermore, sorting makes it easier to define the different species of grain. Therefore, it is possible to mix varieties to increase their resistance and improve productivity.
How to Sort Seeds?
Depending on their use (for seed or sale), there are several processes to sort grains. However, depending on the type of grain to be processed, it is necessary to proceed according to specific selection criteria.
The characteristics of the seed
Before starting the sorting, it is necessary to know the type of grain to be classified. Indeed, the techniques and equipment depend mainly on the kind of grain to be sorted.
The Choice of the Machine to Be Used
If the categorization of the seed to be sorted is so essential, it is because the machines used for sorting depend mainly on it.
The combine harvester
The prospect of seed sorting begins with the choice of harvesting equipment. Thus, the different configurations (choice and location of discs) must be adapted to the results sought (quality and quantity of grain to be recovered).
Equipment used to sort seeds
Many pieces of equipments are used to sort the seeds during the harvest. The definition of the machine configuration depends on several factors (the quality sought, the nature of the sorting, the nature of the grains, etc.).
The cleaner-separator sorts according to the width and thickness of the grain. It also has a vacuum cleaner to rid the products of light waste. The alveolar sorter sorts according to the length of the grains.
The densimetric table is equipment that allows sorting the grains according to their density. These are subjected to a vibration of a certain amplitude and separate automatically.