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"...optimal moisture to insure the quality of our seeds"

Measuring grain moisture in the fields, Franck Cottes, Seed Production Technician at Limagrain Europe, insists on the significance of this key step.
He uses the Humitest for grain 300 moisture meter for sunflower and maze, as well as for rape for next harvest.

“The increase of plots we harvest our seeds from has led us to equip ourselves with a second moisture meter. Our first moisture tester requires grain grinding.” Mr Cottes explains.

Optimal grain moisture content for harvesting

« We measure grain moisture in the field to define the timing of harvest. Our expertise and knowledge enabled us to define the optimal moisture to insure the quality of our seeds. Their germination rate, specified by the technical regulation*, is 85% minimum for sunflower. » Mr Cottes goes on.
“For sunflower, maize or rape, a moisture measurement protocol enables us to optimize the quality of our seeds to guarantee a higher germination rate than the official regulation requires.”

Moisture, key point of the quality protocol

“If defoliated too early, seeds lose their germinative power.” Mr Cottes specifies. “Late defoliation means too dry grain and exposes it to risks of end of cycle diseases as well as risks to be broken. So, it’s significant to assess moisture precisely and quickly. And there are weather hazards; loosing ten to twenty days in September is hazardous to crops. Moreover, grains must not be broken because they won’t germinate.
Seed moisture is one of the parameters of comparison of plots used in laboratory analysis; weather conditions –when flowering especially - and the harvesting material are also taken into account. Each seed producer adapts its protocols to its genetic.”

“Moisture measurement is a key factor.” Franck Cottes sums up.

* Technical regulation of the seed certification of GNIS (French Association for Seeds and Seedlings)

Limagrain, an international agricultural cooperative group, is specialized in Field Seeds, Vegetable Seeds and Cereal Products. Founded and managed by French farmers, the Group is the largest European seed company and fourth largest seed company in the world.
Its commitments to sustainable agriculture meet the requirements of economic efficiency, social and territorial viability, and respect for the environment. This vision of sustainable development is based on Limagrain's daily practices. The Group believes that the two levers that will enable it to meet agricultural challenges are innovation and regulation.

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Humitest for grain 300

This grain moisture meter measure the water content and the temperature of grain and seed.

Equilibrium humidity content

Also known as the hygroscopic equilibrium, this term is used to define the water equilibrium of a material in relation to external conditions.


Limagrain, Franck Cottes