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Seed Production 2019-04-27T11:15:37+00:00

We offer a wide variety of seed production contracts. Learn more below.

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Created to Meet Your Needs

Imperial Seed offers a variety of seed production contracts. With our diverse customer base we have opportunities to provide you with a contract that best compliments your growing conditions.

  • Specific contracts to help address various quality concerns

  • Pricing options include fixed, open market, or a combination of both

  • Full production contracts, we accept all of the seed from your fields

  • Field support from our qualified staff

  • Seed processing done in our accredited facility

We anticipate excellent contract forage and turf seed production contracts for 2017 seeding. Opportunities will be available for Alfalfa, Perennial Ryegrass, Bird’s-foot Trefoil, Fescue, Red Clover and other species for seed production.

Please check out further information regarding individual species we contract is available in the menu to the side.
Give us a call @ 204-786-8457 or scroll down for more contact information. 

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

Alfalfa is a long lived perennial legume. It is a very commonly used forage in many parts of the world. Alfalfa is adaptive to most soil types and does well in poorer soils that other crops will not. It does not do well in fields that often have drowned out areas. Alfalfa has a deep taproot that can find moisture in dry conditions. Ideal stem height for seed production would be around 3’.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract can influence field selection in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are Canada thistle, catchfly, cleavers, clovers, and volunteer canola

Seeding: Seed companion crop at half the normal rate and reduce nitrogen levels. Cereals and flax work well as companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing. Cover crop lodging is a concern in getting a proper establishment.

Seeding Depth: ½ inch (1 cm) or less.

Seeding Rate: 1 to 2 lb/acre (0.5 to 1 kg/acre), use a higher seeding rate when a companion crop is used.

Fertilizer: Alfalfa seed should be inoculated to ensure maximum nitrogen fixation. Other nutrient levels are best addressed in
the year of seeding. Adequate Phosphorus levels will improve nitrogen fixation.

Pollination: Leafcutter bees are required to maximize seed yield potential for alfalfa seed. The general recommendation is 2 – 3 gallons per acre.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: Harvest typically occurs late September and into October. Alfalfa seed is generally desiccated and straight cut combined.

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass is a bunchgrass with a relatively shallow, fibrous root system. It grows to a height of approximately 2’ (60 cm). Varieties are broadly split into two categories for the end user: Turf type and forage type perennial ryegrass. The turf type varieties are bred for characteristics such as dark green colour, short growth habit and fine leaves. Most North American turf varieties also contain endophytes. Please consult our field staff for more details on endophytes. Forage type varieties are bred for feed characteristics, such as feed quality, hay yield, and palatability. This breeding generally leads to a taller plant with wider leaves. There is a strong, stable market for perennial ryegrass making it a favorable time for production.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract influence the field selection, in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are quack grass, wild oats, other course grasses, Canada thistle, catchfly and cleavers.

Seeding: Seed companion crop at half the normal rate and reduce nitrogen levels. Cereals work well as companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing. Cover crop lodging is a concern in getting a strong establishment.

Seeding Depth: Up to ½ inch (1 cm)

Seeding Rate: 7 to 8 lb/acre (3 to 4 kg/acre)

Fertilizer: 90 to 110 lbs N/acre (40 to 50 kgs/acre) Ensure nitrogen is available to the plant when it breaks dormancy in spring to achieve maximum yield potential.

Plant Growth Regulator: Can be applied at 2nd node stage to reduce stem height.  Provides easier swathing and often increases yield.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: The field is ready to swath in the last week of July or first week of August, roughly 25 days after flowering. The seed is ready for combining 6 to 10 days after swathing. The seed is safe for storage at 10 to 12% moisture. Resources such as moisture charts and combine settings are available.

Timothy (Phleum pratense L.)

Timothy adapts well to a variety of soil types. As it is a shallow rooted, bunchgrass, it performs best with regular rainfall and good fertility. Timothy had good winter hardiness and does well on waterlogged soils. It tolerates a range in pH 4.5 to 7.8, but does not tolerate salinity and alkalinity.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract influence the field selection, in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are, catchfly, cleavers alsike, and Canada thistle.

Seeding: Seed companion crop at half the normal rate and reduce nitrogen levels. Cereals work well as companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing. Cover crop lodging is a concern in getting a strong establishment.

Seeding Depth: Up to ½ inch (1 cm)

Seeding Rate: 2 lb/acre (1 kg/acre)

Fertilizer: 80 to 100 lbs N/acre (40 to 50 kgs/acre) Ensure nitrogen is available to the plant when it breaks dormancy in spring to achieve maximum yield potential.

Weed Control: Grassy herbicides are best avoided. However, there are good broadleaf herbicides available for timothy seed production, consult our field staff for options.

Harvest: Swathing of Timothy seed begins mid-August. Swathing timing is important to ensure maturity while minimizing shatter losses. Combining can start from 5 to 14 days after swathing. Timothy seed is easily thrashed. Seed is safe to store at 12% moisture or less. Resources such as moisture charts and combine settings are available.

Meadow Fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.)

Meadow fescue is a perennial bunch grass. It develops a relatively deep root system and has good flooding tolerance. The end use for meadow fescue is pasture grass that provides excellent fall grazing. There are no endophytes bred into this species. Seed production fields are best for 3 to 4 years for optimal yield.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract can influence field selection in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are quack grass, wild oats, Canada thistle, catchfly and cleavers.

Seeding: Meadow fescue establishes best without a companion crop. However if a companion crop is used we suggest seeding the companion crop at half the normal rate and reducing nitrogen levels. Cereals are the best option for companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing.

Seeding Depth: ½ inch (1 cm)

Seeding Rate: 4 to 5 lb/acre (1.75 to 2.25 kg/acre), higher seeding rate when a companion crop is used. Row spacing of 10 to 12 inches provides sufficient rooting room to enhance tillering and seed yield potential.

Fertilizer: 60 to 80 lbs N/acre (27 to 36 kgs/acre). Ensure Nitrogen is available to the plant when it breaks dormancy in spring.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: The field is ready to swath mid August. The seed is ready for combining 6 to 10 days after swathing. The seed is safe for storage at 10 to 12% moisture. Resources such as moisture charts and combine settings are available.

Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea)

Tall fescue is a deep-rooted, perennial bunch grass. It develops a relatively deep root system and has some salinity tolerance. Varieties are broadly split into two categories for end user. Turf type tall fescue and forage type call fescues. A turf type tall fescue is bred for turf characteristics such as leaf colour, height of growth, leaf fineness. Most North American turf varieties also contain endophytes, please see our endophytes section for more details. Forage type tall fescues are bred for feed characteristics, such as feed quality, hay yield, and palatability. This breeding generally leads to a taller plant with much wider leaves.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract influence the field selection, in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are quackgrass, wild oats, other course grasses, Canada thistle, catchfly and cleavers.

Seeding: Tall fescue establishes best without a companion crop. However if a companion crop is used we suggest seeding the companion crop at half the normal rate and reducing nitrogen levels. Cereals are the best option for companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing.

Seeding Depth: ½ to ¾ inch (1 to 2 cm)

Seeding Rate 5 to 7 lb/acre (2.25 to 3.25 kg/acre), higher seeding rate when a companion crop is used.

Fertilizer: 90 to 110 lbs N/acre (40 to 50 kgs/acre) Ensure fertilizer is available to the plant when it breaks dormancy in spring.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: The field is ready to swath in the last week of July or first week of August, roughly 25 days after flowering. The seed is ready for combining 6 to 10 days after swathing. The seed is safe for storage at 10 to 12% moisture. Resources such as moisture charts and combine settings are available.

Double Cut Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Red clover grown for seed in Western Canada is split into two distinct types usually referred to as single-cuts and double-cuts. These terms refer to their respective use as a forage. The mostly commonly grown type is single cut red clover. Single-cut red clovers produce slow spring growth and flowers later than double-cut. They produce a heavier first cut of forage, but aftermath recovery is very slow. Double-cut red clovers grow faster in the spring and flower earlier than single-cuts. The first cut is lighter but their quicker recovery allows time for a second forage harvest.

Double-cut red clovers can be further split into diploid and tetraploid types. Tetraploids, like the diploids from which they originated, may be of the early flowering double-cut, or late flowering single-cut types. However, they often flower later, than corresponding diploids and usually have coarser stems, larger leaves, larger flowers and slightly larger seed. In some areas forage yields are also higher. With respect to seed production single cut and diploids are generally higher yielding than tetraploids, so tetraploids often carry a price premium.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract can influence field selection in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are Canada thistle, catchfly, cleavers, volunteer canola and the presence of other clover species.

Seeding: Seed companion crop at half the normal rate and reduce nitrogen levels. Cereals and flax work well as companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing. Cover crop lodging is a concern in getting a proper establishment.

Seeding Depth: ½ inch (1 cm) or less.

Seeding Rate: 3 to 5 lb/acre (1.5 to 2.25 kg/acre), use a higher seeding rate when a companion crop is used.

Fertilizer: Red clover seed should be inoculated to ensure maximum nitrogen fixation. Other nutrient levels are best addressed in the year of seeding. Adequate Phosphorus levels will improve nitrogen fixation.

Pollination: Honey bees are required to maximize seed yield potential for red clover. The general recommendation is 2 strong colonies per acre.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: Harvest typically occurs late September and into October. The crop can either be desiccated and straight combined or swathed when 75 – 80% of the seed heads are mature.

Alsike Clover (Trifolium hybridum)

Alsike clover is a short-lived perennial, well suited to a variety of soil types. It is relatively shallow rooted, so it thrives in low-lying wet soils. Alsike can handle flooding for up to 6 weeks in early spring. It does tolerate more acid and alkalinity than red clover.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract influence the field selection, in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are red clover, sweet clover, catchfly, cleavers, lamb’s quarters, red-root pigweed, and Canada thistle.

Seeding: Seed companion crop at half the normal rate and reduce nitrogen levels. Cereals and flax work well as companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing. Cover crop lodging is a concern in getting a strong establishment.

Seeding Depth: Up to ½ inch (1 cm)

Seeding Rate: 1-2 lb/acre (.5 – 1 kg/acre)

Fertilizer: Alsike clover seed should be inoculated to ensure maximum nitrogen fixation. Other nutrient levels are best addressed in the year of seeding. Adequate phosphorus levels will improve nitrogen fixation.

Pollination: Honey bees are required to maximize seed yield potential for alsike clover. The general recommendation is 2 strong colonies per acre.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: Harvest typically occurs early September. The crop can either be desiccated and straight combined or swathed when 75 – 80% of the seed heads are mature.

Birds-Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus.)

Birds-foot trefoil is a perennial legume. It is often used as a non-bloat substitute for alfalfa. Trefoil is adaptive to most soil types and does well in poorer soils that other crops will not. Under good conditions stems may reach 2 to 3 feet in length. Trefoil has a well-developed taproot with numerous branches. Trefoil has an indeterminate growth habit meaning that flowers and seed pods may be in varying stages of development at any given time.

Guidelines for Seed Production

Contract Quality: The quality specs of the contract influence the field selection, in terms of weed issues. Some weed issues to consider are red clover, sweet clover, catchfly, cleavers, lamb’s quarters, red-root pigweed, and Canada thistle.

Seeding: Seed companion crop at half the normal rate and reduce nitrogen levels. Cereals and flax work well as companion crops. When selecting a cereal variety, choose one that stands well and is early maturing. Cover crop lodging is a concern in getting a strong establishment.

Seeding Depth: Up to ½ inch (1 cm)

Seeding Rate: 1.5-2.2 lb/acre (.75 – 1 kg/acre)

Fertilizer: Birds-foot trefoil seed should be inoculated to ensure maximum nitrogen fixation. Other nutrient levels are best addressed in the year of seeding. Adequate phosphorus levels will improve nitrogen fixation.

Pollination: Honey bees are required to maximize seed yield potential for birds-foot trefoil. The general recommendation is 2 strong colonies per acre.

Weed Control: Consult our field staff for herbicide options.

Harvest: Harvest typically occurs early mid-August. The crop can either be desiccated and straight combined or swathed when 75 – 80% of the seed heads are mature. The crop must be closely watched during harvest time due to the indeterminate growth habit.

Open Market

Along with contracting seed production we also purchase open market/off contract seed of all of our offered species.  Please send seed samples directly to our location.

Physical Address:                                   Mailing Address:

Imperial Seed Ltd.                                 Imperial Seed Ltd.
8040 Park Royale Way                        Box 17, Grp 210, RR2
Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2E6                      Winnipeg, MB, R3C 2E6

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