NY209 - Development of Steam-Air Treatments for Control of Seed Borne Diseases of Flower Seeds

A steam-air seed treating machine for the control of seedborne diseases was developed for the nursery industry and successfully commercialised, in this 1992-95 project. The new machine was programmed to automatically heat treat and dry seed at temperatures and times set by the operator. A significant advantage of steam-air treatments over hot water treatments is that, at the end of the process, seed is cool, dry, ready for sowing and has superior germination when compared with hot water-treated seed. This report outlines the design features of the machine and outlines preferred treatments for stock, lobelia, cineraria, phlox and brassica seeds.