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40 yr old seed corn


 
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David1
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Got this old planter home and its full of corn the guy said was 40 yrs old. Whats the chance of it being any good.
 
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Don-Wi
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If it's been kept dry, it'll probably grow. Can do a germination test to make sure you're not wasting your time on the old seed.

Donovan from Wisconsin
 
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Dave H (MI)
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Slim to none. Never had any seed that old but every year that goes by diminishes the viability. Some plant types are worse than others but that is the reason you don't buy in bulk and keep planting your garden from the same stock each year.

Still, I could not resist taking a couple groups of 100 seeds each and sprouting them on a warm moist towel to count the percentage, if any, that germinate. If you do that I would love to hear the results.
 
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Bob Bancroft
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:44 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That's hard to believe. Here the moisture, bugs, or something would have made a mess of it by now. So I suppose if whatever climate this was in is that perfect, then maybe there's a chance. But I would still sooner bet on the germ being dead.
 
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LA in WI
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

One factor to consider is how hot it got for these seeds while in that planter. Corn seed is tough, but has it"s limits. Heat kills seed viability.

Second factor is you are dealing with 40 yr old seed technology...likely not nearly as good performance as new seed.

Third factor is you may/will not save any money planting seed that old as the yield, if any, will be much less than new seed. Simple equation: For good yields you need good seed.

But, if you want to play around with it,
lay out 3-4 paper towels on top of each other to make a soft "nest". Lay this on work bench or similar level surface. Count out 100 kernels and lay them on the towels...space them out. Cover this with 3-4 more paper towels. Wet the towels thoroughly. Keep them moist (not soaked) for about 1 week.

After 1 week open the towels and count how many have germinated. That will give you the percentage of seeds germinating under warm conditions.

Most seed companies do a "cold germ test", at about 50 degrees, during the early winter months in labs. Some seeds that germinate well when warm often fail under cold test and can be a problem getting them to grow in fields in spring.

I am betting some of those kernels will germinate but that factor proves little in future performance.
LA in WI
 
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bison
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well at least you can be pretty sure it ain't GMO corn Very Happy
 
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tomturkey
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If you could figure out the brand, maybe "seed Savers" would be interested. They are trying to catalog and keep original( before hybridization and GMO) seed stock. In the hopes that we always have a "start" if the current seedstock lines encounter a disaster, ie pests, genetic mutations,etc. Just a thought. gobble
 
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jbp
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just yesterday I was in an old corn crib of mine and checked the date on a half bag of Pioneer seed corn hanging there. It was germination tested for 87. That would make it 26 years old according to my calculations. Think I might see if any grains will still germinate. Joe
 
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Edd in KY
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Why not try it? How much will it cost? Let us know the results. Don't overlook the fact that your seed might be needed to preserve genetic vigor of the heritage varieties. You should contact the preservation organizations. However, I think we were well into hybrid seed 40 years ago.

From a statistics standpoint even a very low germination rate of 2% or 3% could produce thousands of new seeds if it were a worthwhile heritage variety worth saving.
 
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Kent Hawks
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bought a ford two row a few yrs ago, had an unopened bag of pioneer in it. Seed was just under 20 yrs old, not one sprouted.
 
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1130Leo
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

40 year old seed, definately not GMO, would be worth at least trying to see if any germinate.
 
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rodm1
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:45 am    Post subject: Re: 40 yr old seed corn Reply to specific post Reply with quote

There is a technique to rejuvenate those seeds. Seed savers use it all the time, Should consider sending a few pounds to one of them.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/21/scientists-regenerate-30000-year-old-plant/
 


Last edited by rodm1 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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