Whether a wheat farmer buys non-protected varieties, springs for certified seed, and especially if he saves his own, assuring seed quality pays off, says Gaylon Morgan, Texas Extension wheat specialist at College Station.

“Farmers need to invest the time and money required to preserve seed quality,” he says.

Farmers who save seed every year should establish “seed fields and grow the same variety in those fields every year or rotate to a non-wheat crop. Preserving the variety identity will help with overall crop uniformity, including maturity and class of wheat, hard or soft.

“Check germination. Look for high bushel weight and clean to remove weed seed and foreign matter.”

Morgan says storage facilities should be clean and producers should use an effective insect control program to maintain seed quality throughout the summer storage.

He says studies have shown a lot of variability in stand counts and production in farmer- saved seed compared to certified. “Some farmer-saved seed will be as good as certified; some will not. It depends on quality of the seed at harvest and how the seed was stored”

He says fall forage yields are highly dependent on seed quality. Good quality seed, either certified or farmer-saved, will be worth the money and effort and will result in better stand establishment, forage yields, and grain yields.