The Importance of Gentle Seed Handling

- Jason Kaeb

Whether you are dealing with seed or grain, the handling of them is important. Most grain handling equipment is designed around the importance of delivering product at a high capacity while seed handling equipment is designed around the importance of gentle product handling.

The seed is essentially an embryonic plant comprised of a seed coat, endosperm and embryo. All of the above parts of the seed are delicate and must be handled with care as damaging the seed could cause a reduction in the germination rate. We understand that every single seed matters, and it is this value that continues to drive the design of not just our conveyors, but also our entire bulk seed and treating product line.

In a bulk seed system, a seed is handled anywhere between three and 10 times, which emphasizes the importance of using equipment that is capable of transferring or treating seed gently while maintaining an appropriate speed and capacity for the system.

In designing the cleated belt conveyor, safety and gentle handling were the primary drivers. We quickly learned that not only are conveyors much gentler in handling a product than a traditional auger, but also not all conveyors are created equal. The KSi cleated belt conveyor is designed with 2-inch raised cleats that help carry the seed from one point to another, without damaging or harming the seed. Without cleats, a conveyor belt must run at a higher speed and use momentum to transfer the seed, especially at steeper angles, leading to potential seed damage. The patented cleated belt design and slow belt speed work together to maintain seed quality and consistent germination.

We know that speed and capacity are important, but we maintain that you do not have to sacrifice gentle handling. Our conveyors provide advanced seed movement capacity, moving up to 5,000 pounds per minute. Before investing in new equipment, I encourage you to consider the end use and research the equipment that’s available to help you meet all your needs.

Remember: You can have the best equipment, but if it’s not properly maintained it will not last and can damage your seed. Maintenance is a must.