Quality parent seeds have higher genetic purity, higher physical purity, physical soundness, stamina and vigor, uniform shape, size and color, and of course, high germination.
Richardson Seeds International (RSI) runs the parent seed production operation for Nuseed’s global sorghum crop from Cheyenne Station Ranch, located near Boys Ranch, Texas. RSI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nuseed and has grown hybrid sorghum since the mid-1950s.
Cheyenne Station Ranch is a 96-acre property, fully equipped with automated center pivot irrigation. It also provides isolation and water security, both of which are critical for reliable, high quality parent seed production. RSI harvests parent seed at higher moisture and dries it to avoid weathering, bird or other damage to ensure the highest quality parent seed possible.
Without top quality parent seeds, hybrid seed production is often fighting an uphill battle. Problematic parent seeds can lead to expensive rouging costs, quality issues and ultimately unhappy customers – all of which RSI’s proactive management eliminates.
“People and attention to detail make all the difference in quality hybrid seed production,” explains RSI General Manager, David Drinnon. “The parent seed production team does a fantastic job of planting and maintaining the quality of the seed throughout the production cycle – it all starts with quality breeder and parent seed production!”
From development to commercial sale – the RSI seed production process:
- Variety Development: Plant breeders develop new seed varieties with new/unique traits
- Parent Seed Multiplication: Done at Cheyenne Ranch
- Hybrid Seed production: Uses parent seed from Cheyenne Ranch
- Field Selection: Careful selection for internal and external requirements
- Isolation: Seed is kept separate from other sorghum crops and varieties
- Planting Equipment Sanitization: Thorough machinery cleaning protects quality
- Certification: Seed must pass field inspections and governing body requirements
- Field Inspection: Governing body and RSI personnel inspect at various maturity stages
- Rouging: Off-types, other varieties, or problem weeds are removed
- Harvesting Equipment Sanitation: Before and after harvest machinery cleaning
- Harvest: Done early at higher moisture then dried for highest quality
- Separate Seed Storage: Preserves purity and provides traceability
- Testing and Grading: Licensed graders verify quality
- Seed Cleaned: Removal of small and broken seeds
- Bagging and Tagging: The certified seed is ready for commercial sale
- Commercial Farmer: The certified seed is planted