Improving Seed Conditioning  book cover
1st Edition

Improving Seed Conditioning

ISBN 9781138032545
Published February 23, 2017 by CRC Press
464 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Seed conditioning is the final process that establishes the quality of a seed lot and determines its value. It is a complex process involving a significant series of machines, each of which must be used in the proper sequence of the entire process, and each machine must be carefully and properly adjusted and set up for each lot of seed. If the conditioning plant operator does not have sufficient knowledge of how to set up and adjust each of the machines, then an excessive amount of good seed is lost during conditioning and not all undesirable materials are removed. Therefore, the performance of seed conditioning depends entirely on how effectively the operator sets up and adjusts the machines.

Much effort has been spent in developing seed technology so as to produce high quality seed, but performance of seed conditioning by maximizing the operator’s knowledge of getting the best performance from each of his machines has not been carefully and completely developed. Improving Seed Conditioning focuses on teaching the conditioning plant operator details of each machine and how to get maximum performance from it in terms of operating efficiency, maximum removal of undesirable particles, and minimum loss of good seed.

Organized in a manner that focuses on the specific machine models installed in each operator’s specific plant, this manual is set up to be used as text material in training classes or as a guide for operators employed by seed companies.

Table of Contents

To meet this need
How this program works
Getting maximum benefit from this technical assistance program
Making a personal permanent reference notebook
Using this training program
Updating or adapting this manual and your conditioning notebook
The operator makes seed conditioning separators operate better

What seed conditioning is and does
Importance of seed
Seed conditioning
Seed conditioning plant facilities
Seed conditioning staff and contract growers

Relations and interactions of plant staff with contract seed growers
Selecting contract growers
Training, supporting and supervising contract growers
Advising contract growers on quality control
Advising contract growers on harvesting and handling seed
Delivering raw seed to the conditioning plant

Seed conditioning plant location
Near the production area
Not near trash, weeds, etc., which attract rats and pests
Dry low-moisture area with good drainage
Minimal traffic and "outside" personnel
Ready access for trucks carrying seed in and out
Not in or adjoining areas where there is much traffic
Not near areas where seed plant noise and 24-hours/day operations would be objectionable

Seed conditioning plant area

Adequate space for all required plant operations
Concrete wall surrounding the entire area
Pave entire area with smooth-finish concrete
Only 2 gates into the plant area

Essential utilities

Fire protection
Clean water supply
Adequate and dependable electricity
Safety and security
Trash and garbage

Conditioning plant facilities

Truck scales to weigh incoming and outgoing truck
Truck parking, inspecting loads, servicing and handling
Management and administrative offices
Internal quality control
Raw seed receiving facilities
Seed drying
Raw seed storage
Waste (screenings) handling and disposal
Conditioned seed storage
Conditioned seed and loading facilities

Raw (Unconditioned) Seed

Receiving raw seed
Delivery handling systems for raw (unconditioned) seed
Methods of receiving raw seed
Bulk seed in loaded trucks
Bulk in forklift tote boxes
Receiving raw seed delivered in bags
Receiving facilities
Ensuring identity
Sampling and quality testing
Non-conditioned seed storage

Moving raw seed into conditioning
Setting up machines to prepare for conditioning
Sampling raw seed to determine conditioning needed
Checking flow sequence set-up to ensure complete conditioning
Set up to handle conditioned seed as it is bagged
Handling waste products
Conditioning plan and schedule
Moving raw seed into conditioning


Seed conditioning sequences
Handling and storing conditioned seed
Storing and shipping conditioned seed

Support Operations

Plant area and wall
Truck scales to weigh incoming and outgoing trucks
Management and Administrative offices
Internal quality control lab, staff and procedures
Truck parking, loading, inspecting loads, servicing and handling

Seed Conditioning Principles

Basic concepts

Waste Products

Waste product creation

Sanitation and Pest/Insect Control

Sanitation and pest/insect control

Conditioning Equipment Layout

Equipment layout

Receiving Pit

Receiving pit
Receiving installation

Bucket elevator characteristics

Bucket elevator operation

Vibrating conveyor characteristics

Vibrating conveyor operation

Horizontal belt conveyor characteristics

Horizontal belt conveyor operation

Inclined belt conveyor characteristics

Inclined belt conveyor operation

Drag chain conveyor characteristics

Drag chain conveyor operation

Airlift elevator characteristics

Airlift elevator operation

Ear Corn Conveyor Characteristics

Ear Corn Conveyor Operation

Corn (Maize) Sheller Characteristics

Corn Sheller Operation

Scalper (pre-cleaner) Characteristics

Scalper Operation

Debearder Characteristics

Debearder operation

Huller-Scarifier characteristics

Huller-scarifier Operations

Air-Screen Cleaner Characteristics


Screen Selection

Air-Screen Cleaner Operation

Cylinder Separation Characteristics


Cylinder Separator Operation

Disc Separator Characteristics


Disc Separator Operation

Gravity Separator Characteristics

Gravity Separator Operation

Stoner Characteristics

Stoner Operation

Pneumatic Separator Characteristics

Pneumatic Separator Operation

Aspirator Characteristics

Aspirator Operation

Spiral Separator Characteristics

Spiral Separator Operation

Width and Thickness Separator Characteristics

Width and Thicknes Separator Operation

Roll Mill Characteristics

Roll Mill Operation

Color Separator Characteristics

Color Separator Operation

Magnetic Separator Characteristics

Magnetic Separator Operation

Electrostatic Separator Characteristics

Electrostatic Separator Operation

Seed Treater Characteristics

Seed Treater Operation

Bagger-Weigher Characteristics

Bagger-Weigher Operation

Bag Closer Characteristics

Bag Closer Operation

Determining Seed Conditioning Requirements

Determining Conditioning Requirements for a Specific Separation Problem

Determining Sequence to Set up, Adjust, and Operate Conditioning Machines

Selected Machines Adjustment Sequence

Special Packaging Machine

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Bill Gregg holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Agronomy Seed Technology. He has held positions of leadership in developing, managing and operating seed technology programs,  training personnel and guiding operations at Mississippi State University, Washington State University, and Auburn University in the U.S.A., and as a consultant and advisor in various aspects of seed improvement, seed industry development, personnel development, seed promotion to farmers, in approximately 90 countries in programs sponsored by various national government and private sector agencies, and international development programs. In Seed Conditioning, he worked with equipment manufacturers in research and development of machines, and manufacturing of machines. He worked in actual conditioning of seed of many crops. He trained operators in seed conditioning. He worked in maintenance and repair of seed conditioning machines. He designed and built/installed seed conditioning plants worldwide, probably more plants than any other person worldwide. In many countries and many plants, he examined problems in seed conditioning and developed solutions. He has a significant number of publications on various aspects of seed conditioning. He is widely known jokingly as “Mr. Seed Conditioning."  As a measure of his status, he has been included in Who’s Who in the South and Southwest of the USA, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World. In 2000 and 2001, the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England, selected him as International Man of the Year in Recognition of his services to the international seed industry.