SEED PROCESSING EQUIPMENT
We start with your vision to develop the perfect seed processing solution for your success. Cimbria can integrate the entire operation from intake, to cleaning, grading, sorting, treatment and packaging. The result – peak performance and reliable operation.
SEED PROCESSING TRACEABILITY
The process of removal of dockage in a seed lot and preparation of seed for marketing is called seed processing. The price and quality of seed is inversely related to dockage, which should not exceed a maximum level permitted for different crops for seed certification.
Due to the operation of processing the level of heterogeneity of seed lot gets narrowed down.
The heterogeneity occurs in a seed lot due to following reasons:
Variability in soil for fertility, physical, chemical and biological properties
Variability in management practices (irrigation, application of nutrients etc.)
Variability in ability of the seedling for utilizing the inputs
Variability in pest and disease infestation
Position of pod or fruit in a plant or the position of seed in a pod.
Principle of seed processing: the processing operation carried out based on the principle of physical differences found in a seed lot.
Seed size – varied from small to bold Air screen cleaner cum grader
Density- ill filled, immature to well Matured light weight to dense seed Specific gravity separator
Shape – round to oval and different shapes Spiral separator
Surface texture – smooth to wrinkled and rough Roll mill / dodder mill
Colour of the seed – light color to dark colors Electronic color shorter
Conductivity of seed – low to high Electronic separator
Requirement in seed processing
There should be complete separation
There should be minimum seed loss
Upgrading should be possible for any particular quality
There should be have more efficiency
It should have only minimum requirement
Types of materials removed during seed processing
Common weed seeds
Noxious weed seeds
Other crop seeds
Other variety seeds
Sequence of operation in seed processing
Sequence of operations are based on characteristics of seed such as shape, size, weight, length, surface structure, colour and moisture content. Because each crop seed possesses individually seed structure. Therefore, sequence of operation will be applied proper equipments. However, It is also involved stages following as. Are you looking for an automatic seed packaging machine? Levapack offers high-accuracy and steady packaging solutions that are suitable for various seed and snack products. We assure to provide you a clean, food-grade, and efficient packaging process for your seed products. Message us today! We also provide custom packaging solutions.
Seed packing machine is significant for seed factories. It can highly enhance your efficiency and benefit your business. In fact, it is obvious for us to know the strong function and benefits of seed packaging equipment. That is not the point we want to talk about. The point is how can we choose a suitable and reliable seed packaging machine on a limited budget. In this article, we will discuss the performance features, types, buying guidance, and price of seed packing machine. Hope this content can help you choose the best seed packaging machine for your project. This type of equipment fills bags with many different types of agricultural products such as seeds and grains. This includes sunflower seeds, grass seeds, wheat seeds, corn seed, soybean seeds, barley, oats, rice, bird seed, alfalfa, rye, canola, and more. A high-speed net weigh filler bags seeds, grains, and other free-flowing, non-dusty products into a variety of open mouth bags and small pouches. This type of machine automatically fills an internal supply hopper while a bag on the spout is being filled below, thus providing a much faster fill rate.
Separating or Upgrading
Storage or Shipping
The flow charts illustrating the types of materials removed from harvested produce during processing.
Receiving The field run produce after threshing is received in the processing plant.
Seed movement /basic steps in seed processing plant.
Methods of seed processing
Picture 10. Belt thresher consisting of two face-to-face endless belts operating at different speeds in the same direction. (Photograph R. Whalley)
If it is decided to clean the harvested material down to dispersal units or caryopses, then a number of machines are available.
They can operate in either a vertical or horizontal plane. There is some evidence that they are not as effective as cone threshers for dressing chaffy seeds.
Various types of brush threshers (Picture 11) are effective for processing chaffy seeds but, again, fragile seeds or seeds with very soft, projecting embryos (e.g. M. stipoides) will be damaged by this equipment.
De-bearding or de-awning equipment often gently mixes the dried material in a rotating drum breaking off the awns (Awn - an elongated bristle-like appendage attached to the apex, back or base of the glume, lemma or palea) and other appendages. John Betts and Tony Wilson of Yass, NSW, have designed and built stirring equipment for threshing and separating fertile spikelets (Spikelet - consists of one or more florets and is the basic unit of the inflorescence in grasses) of T. triandra from harvested inflorescences (Inflorescence - a group of flowers borne on a stem). The harvested material is passed repeatedly through a stirring chamber and the fertile spikelets are separated from the light trash by blowing. From the air stream, the (heavier) fertile spikelets will bounce further from an angled steel plate than empty spikelets. The fertile spikelets are then separated from similarly weighted pieces of stalk and trash on an inclined bouncing fabric-covered board (Picture 12). The callus hairs of the spikelets make them stick to the fabric whereas the stalk and trash bounce off.
Wet seed processing and saving
In the April 2020 issue, Brett Grohsgal’s article “Breeding crops for resilience to a changing climate” and Fred Hempel’s “Breeding tomatoes on a farm: practical selection advice,” encouraged us to select varieties for certain traits or to breed our own varieties. Fred Hempel’s “On-farm tomato breeding: making crosses and managing projects” in May 2020 took the skills up a notch. In March 2009, I wrote, “An introduction to growing seed for yourself or for sale,” for small-scale growers venturing into seed growing. Now, I am tackling the question of how to extract, process and conserve seeds from your selected seed crop until sale or planting.
My experience is as a vegetable grower, growing a few seed crops alongside vegetable production. In this first article, I will focus on wet-seed processing and demystify fermentation and drying. An article in the September 2020 GFM addresses dry-seed crops (which develop in pods, husks or ears, and dry on the plant) and vegetatively reproducing crops (clones like garlic).
Ease into seed packing:
In your first year, avoid unfamiliar crops or too many different seed crops. Grow one or two seed crops for yourself to see how it fits in with the rest of your farming. There are good details on seed cleaning methods in the “Seed Processing and Storage Guide” from Saving Our Seeds at https://tinyurl.com/yymc366u. This seed packing machine is a VFFS machine, integrated with multi-head weigher which is completely designed and manufactured in India. This “ MADE in INDIA” Multihead weigher incorporates the entire electrical, electronic, micro-controller system, as well as the software designed & developed by our R & D team and manufactured in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in India. The inbuilt international standards ensure 24X7 running of the machine, tirelessly. Outstanding after-sales-service, quick supply of spares, and flexibility in design to adopt changes as per customer requirements, are the underlying benefits our customers get on being the proud owner of a SENSOGRAPH machine. This seed packing machine can be incorporated with 14 head or 10 head weigher or 2 head/4 head linear weigher.
Wet-seeded crops usually have ripe seed when the produce is ripe or a little beyond that. Cucumbers are a notable exception; they are eaten as underripe fruits, and the seed is mature when the cucumber reaches the yellow blimp stage. I think wet-seeded crops are less work. Dry-seeded crops can take a lot longer to mature seeds than to grow as vegetables, and then you still need to screen and winnow. Your passion for selecting a particular trait in a particular crop may be what drives your decision.
Pay attention to isolation distances because they can restrict what else you can grow as produce. If your growing season is long enough, you may be able to grow yellow squash for an early market, then sow pumpkins for seed, and before any pumpkins flower, ruthlessly pull up all the yellow squash. The various squash varieties can cross within the same family, so, if you want pie pumpkin seeds, you need to keep the zucchini away.
John Navazio’s book The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production has everything you need to know. Keep records of your dates and the results you get, as timing is critical, and some crops will work better for you than others.
Wet seed processing: Even as the second round of rinse water is added to the mix of tomato seeds and pulp, most of the seeds are on the bottom of the bucket and obscured by pulp.
Roma is an OP paste tomato variety that had been reliable and productive for us (we make a lot of sauce, juice and salsa), but our yields were reduced by Septoria leaf spot. I couldn’t find a commercially available Septoria-resistant paste variety, so I decided to develop our own strain, selecting for resistance to Septoria, along with earliness and high early yield. The reward — healthy plants for a long season — is of great value to us.
We plant about 260 Romas, and probably save seed from a selected 130 to160 mother plants. For selection to improve the variety, it’s important to have plenty to choose from. Between 80 to 100 would be enough. We make sure when we plan our crop layouts that we don’t put any other varieties of tomatoes within 180 feet (55 meters) of any of our Romas.
We transplant in late April or early May, with a metal T-post after every two plants (the plants are two feet apart). We use the Florida Weave system, adding a new round of twine each week.
In early July, even before any tomatoes ripen, I start monitoring the plants once a week, using flagging tape on the T-posts, marking ones with healthy foliage and ones promising to yield very well. I tie the tape on the nearest post, with a bow on the side facing the chosen plant. I use red tape for high early yield combined with not much Septoria and yellow tape for healthy foliage with a decent yield. The star performers get both red and yellow tapes. I use Presco biodegradable flagging tape, made from wood pulp. It is nontoxic and degrades in six to 24 months (depending on conditions). The 3.0 mil non-woven cellulosic roll flagging is $2.59 from Gempler’s.
After a couple of weeks of monitoring and flagging, once the tomatoes start to ripen, I monitor and pick on the day before a crew bulk harvest; it’s no good looking for high yields when they’ve already been picked. I pick one or two fruits from each marked plant, maybe three from a plant with both tapes. If the plant no longer looks so great, I remove its tape. If a plant without a tape starts to excel in healthy foliage as the season continues, I add a yellow tape. Note: I don’t add many red tapes after the start of the harvest because I want to select for early fruit and plants that yield well later are not what we want.
Our method combines well with crew harvesting most of the fruit as food. If you are growing the variety only or mainly as a seed crop, you would mash all the fruit from the chosen plants and save all the seed. Or, if you are seeking to maintain an OP variety, (i.e. keeping the variety the same from year-to-year, without selecting for new traits), seed could be saved from the whole planting after pulling out any sub-par plants (known as “roguing”).
Processing tomato seeds
Basic equipment for wet-seed processing consists of buckets, knives, and spoons. I pick five gallons (19 liters) for seed each week, sometimes twice that. I store those buckets of tomatoes for five days in a secret location where no one will find and eat them, which lets the fruit get completely ripe.
I process seeds on sauce-making days (the days we do bulk harvesting). I cover the fruit with water to clean it, then remove and cut each tomato in half lengthwise into a clean bucket, rejecting any diseased ones. Using a soup spoon, I then scoop out the seeds into a clean bucket and put the empty “shells” into another clean bucket (to make sauce).
I ferment the seeds in the loosely covered bucket for three days at approximately 70°F (21°C). I aim to stir about three times a day.
I take several clean buckets and a sieve and wash the seeds. This art gets easier and quicker with practice. I pour from bucket to bucket, rather than onto the ground, so if I make a mistake, I haven’t lost the seeds. The best seeds sink. The floaters are not likely to be good, so don’t worry about losing a few seeds when pouring the rinse water off. The process is a matter of adding water, stirring, letting things settle, and pouring off the floating material. Here are the steps:
1. Pour off the top half of the ferment (mostly no good) into another bucket to salvage any good seeds. If in a hurry, discard the material from the top half of the bucket, provided it was well-settled.
2. Add water to both buckets, stir, let things settle and then pour off the tomato pulp and no-good floating seeds from both into another bucket for a second chance.
3. Consolidate the better stuff in one bucket, the worse stuff in another, let settle, and pour away the seedless water.
4. Add more water and repeat several times from step one.
5. After about five rinses, the water is clear and the seed is clean.
6. Strain it through a sieve.
I’ve tried other ways to mark melons, such as flags and magic markers, but grease pencils work best. Having a big number right there on the skin of the melon stops any crew member about to harvest it as produce. They know to never pick melons with numbers on them.
I keep a notebook to help me keep track as melons are easily lost in abundant healthy foliage. I write down which numbers are in which rows and how many there are in total. I keep notes of which numbers I harvest each week and assess them for size, ripeness, and, once I open them, flavor.
Ideally, watermelon for seed would be overmature by seven to ten days, but waiting too long is courting disaster. If the vine has died, I do not keep the seed, as clearly it wasn’t a healthy plant, and I’m selecting for disease-resistance. It can get hard to find all the numbered melons, but my notebook saves me from wasting time looking for one that I already harvested.
Processing melon seeds
I harvest about six to eight melons each week, as they ripen. It’s a messy job so take a damp cloth with you. I put all the clean buckets and large knives and spoons that I’ll need into a garden cart and pull it down the rows, checking and harvesting melons as I work along the rows. I make notes (by melon number) about size, then I cut the melon in half crosswise, observe the color, and take a big serving spoon and scoop out part of the heart to taste.
If the flavor is good, I scoop the (seedless) heart out into a very clean bucket, for us to eat later. If not, I don’t save its seeds. Next, there is a layer that is full of seeds. I scoop this into a seed bucket. Then I scoop the outer flesh, also relatively seedless, into the food bucket. The scooped watermelon flesh makes wonderful smoothies and sorbets. I pitch the empty shells back into the plot.
Fermentation is done the same way as tomatoes, but for four days at 70°F (21°C), stirring three times a day. Wash the seed on the fourth day in the same way as tomato seed. Dry on racks or trays with fans. Scheduling example: Harvest and scoop on Tuesday, wash on Saturday and set them to dry. They take longer to dry, being considerably bigger than tomato seeds. One Crimson Sweet melon provides 22 grams of seed; 22 melons provide one pound of seed.
Seeds must be stored dry, cool and airtight once dry. Make sure your storage places are mouse-proof. Preliminary storage can begin when seeds are down to 8 percent moisture; the seeds should break or shatter when you hit them with a hammer. They should not mash.
Put the dry seeds in a jar with an equal weight of a desiccant (silica gel or powdered milk). For USDA Certified Organic, check the OMRI list and only use allowed desiccants. After seven days, remove the desiccant and put the seed in a labeled bag inside a labeled glass or metal container with an airtight lid. You can seal the lid with Parafilm M tape.
For long-term storage, put the jar in the freezer. When removing seeds from the freezer, allow the container to warm to room temperature for a day before opening to prevent moisture condensing on the seeds.
A peek inside the author's bucket with scooped Crimson Sweet watermelon seeds and attached flesh.
Test your germination
Fold a thick paper towel lengthwise, unfold it, count out 50 or 100 seeds and spread them along the inside of the fold. Re-fold the towel, dampen with water and roll up loosely. Put the roll inside a loosely closed (not zipped) plastic bag and put it somewhere at a suitable germination temperature. Often the top of the fridge is suitable for a small-scale seed grower. Beware the top of gas water heaters as fumes inhibit tomato seeds and other nightshades.
See my book Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production for ideal temperatures for different crops. For instance, 75°F (24°C) is good for most vegetables, 80°F (27°C) is better for tomatoes and peppers, 85°F (29°C) for melons. Open the roll twice a day (the air change helps the seeds even if it’s too early for sprouts).
After seven days, count the number of sprouted seeds and remove them. After another seven days, repeat and add this number to the first one to calculate your germination percentage. If you sell to a seed company, they will check germination before they pay you.
Pam Dawling is the author of the books Sustainable Market Farming and The Year-Round Hoophouse. She blogs at sustainablemarketfarming.com, on Facebook and for Mother Earth News.
Seed Processing Unit
Seed Processing Unit
After harvest, the seeds need to be processed by various methods in order to keep their physical purity intact and also to increase the shell life. This should be done before seeds are kept in storage. There are various steps to be followed viz. cleaning (wet and dry), winnowing, sieving, drying, tests to ascertain the dryness of seeds. One of the crucial steps in Seed Processing is refining post-harvested seed to its purest form for replanting purposes and human/animal consumption. This involves taking the cleaned seed and coating them with a chemical, usually antimicrobial or fungicidal, to make them more robust for the field.
The seed that produced will have so many impurities like stones, weeds, trash, other crop seeds etc.
Seed processing means cleaning operation that are taken up to the raw produce from the field.
In this process the seed that is produced is going to be used as seed purpose that’s why we have to take care of the germination percentage also.
The advantage of seed processing units are:
It cleans the seed by revolving the trash and stones present in it by pre-cleaners.
It grades the seed by the shape, size etc. by removing the shrivelled and damage seed from it.
It removes other unwanted crop seed using the gravity separator.
The seed produced is uniform and by maintaining the required moisture the germination percentage achieved is good.