Seed drying refers to the process of eliminating moisture from the seeds. Throughout this process, the seed moisture is reduced to safe moisture limits to maintain the viability and vigor of the seeds during storage. Seed drying is essential because it can help gardeners prevent mold growth and microbial activity. Not only that, but this process guarantees early harvesting, long-term storage of seeds, more efficient use of land and workforce, and production of high-quality seeds. There are different types of seed drying techniques that you can learn from in this article.
Seed Drying Techniques
The following are the different methods you can use to dry seeds:
- Curing Drying
Curing drying refers to the technique of completely drying and preparing the seeds for storing purposes. Gardeners cure them before they use the seeds for planting. Curing drying has been known as a traditional method.
- Machine Drying
There are also types of machinery that you can use to dry seeds faster, such as:
- Drum Seed Dryer
The drum seed dryer rotates the seeds around in a large drum for drying. This process is also known as tumbling or tumble drying, which can be used for larger quantities of smaller seeds. Using a drum seed dryer is recommended if you want to produce smaller, tighter kernels.
- Electric Seed Dryer
The electric seed dryer can be used to dry seeds and similar items using electric heat. It is more effective than airflow at drying seeds because it provides consistent and uniform heating. Not only that, but it does not need to be adjusted as much compared to other techniques.
- Manual Seed Dryer
A manual seed dryer uses the process of convection heating to dry seeds. The seed is placed on a tray and moved on a conveyor belt to a drying room, usually heated by an airflow. The heat from the heating source is transferred from the air surrounding the seeds to the seeds, causing them to dry. Manual seed dryers are usually cheap and effective, but they are generally used for smaller batches of tiny seeds.
- Winder/Stirrer Seed Dryer
The winder or stirrer seed dryer uses mechanical arm movement, which breaks large seed clusters into smaller clusters. Once done, the seeds are then dried in a chamber below the machine. Using a winder is recommended because the seeds are broken up into smaller clusters preventing clumping.
- Pelleting Drying
Pelleting drying refers to the process of putting the seeds into a tube made of paper or plastic. Then, they are turned over through the machine. This process is one of the most advanced and applicable methods to dry up seeds.
- Sun Drying
Sun drying is one of the standard conventional methods of seed drying. Through this process, the harvested crop is carried out in the field or threshing floor by the sun’s radiant energy. The gardeners should spread the seeds in a thin layer to prioritize the seed with a moisture content of more than 17%. Once done, they can dry the seeds with a moisture content of less than 17%. Take note that the sun-dried seeds should not be kept on the floor during the night because they will absorb moisture from the air. Usually, it requires two to four days to reduce the moisture content to 10-12%.
Seed drying is a vital process because it keeps your seeds from sprouting and ruining any chances of crop success. There are different types of techniques you can use to dry your seeds. Besides the conventional methods, you can also use seed drying machines to produce uniformly dried seeds with consistent color and quality. The best machine depends on the type of size, type, and quantity of seeds that need to be dried.