U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Plant Conservation Program|
Why Are Seeds Cleaned?
Do you think of seed cleaning when reclamation is discussed? Usually, the seed cleaning process is not the first topic that comes to mind. Nonetheless, it is an important step in the reclamation process.
Seed cleaning removes the chaff from the seed, which not only allows the seeds to be sowed thru a mechanical planter, but also allows the seed to be stored with less of a chance of fungal/bacterial infection. Cleaning the seed also works as a process to check for the purity of the collection.
How Are Seeds Cleaned?
The process is not simple. Seed is run through machines to remove the chaff and excess plant material surrounding them. The machine chosen to clean a specific seed is based primarily on seed size and type of chaff that has to be removed from the seed. As shown below, there are many different machines with size- and dimension-calibrated screens to accommodate the variety of native seeds that must be cleaned. Typically, the seed will be put through more than one machine to ensure that all chaff and plant material is removed. After the seed has been cleaned it is stored in a cotton or synthetic bag.
The following facilities have the capability to clean & process large amounts of seed: