The challenge for Rijk Zwaan is to be able to supply sufficient seed of good quality at the right time – in the desired form and of the correct variety. This requires good planning and thorough quality checks. The seed is not released for sale until a batch meets all our stringent quality demands.
Samples are taken from the new seed batches and these are tested for germination vigour in different conditions, e.g. there is a test which determines whether seed still germinates adequately at high or, conversely, low temperatures as well.
When assessing seed purity, the seed is examined for the presence of, for instance, half-seeds, weeds, soil particles and other undesired elements. These are removed if necessary.
Varietal trueness/varietal purity
There are two methods for checking varietal trueness and varietal purity. Either we check a batch when a sample of the seed is sown at our trial nursery, or we use fast DNA techniques in our laboratory in Fijnaart.
One test that is becoming increasingly important is the one used for seed-borne diseases. Some of these tests are partly carried out in our own laboratory and others are contracted out to specialist laboratories. The tests are all carried out in accordance with officially laid down test protocols.
Based on customers’ wishes, the seed also undergoes various treatments besides the quality tests. These may include disinfection or coating against germination diseases. Once the quality demands have been satisfied and the necessary treatments have taken place, the seed is made ready for dispatch and delivered to the customer.