SEED PRODUCTION

Tangent, Oregon Facility

Betaseed started processing seed at this location in 1971 with one building allocated to seed processing and another to warehousing. Over the past 40 years, the facility has been upgraded and expanded to more than seven buildings and a computerized manufacturing system operated by over 50 full-time employees.

Seed Production & Processing

Betaseed’s sugarbeet seed supply chain maintains possession and total control of the quality of our seed from seed harvest until on-farm delivery to growers. All seed harvested for commercial use is processed, packaged, and shipped directly by the Tangent facility. Through seed harvest and processing, over seven separate quality control and assurance tests are conducted to ensure the highest possible seed quality and germination. Using a state-of-the-art computerized manufacturing system, employees process and package seed that is demanded by growers throughout North America.


Commercial Production

The seed production fields are planted with two rows of pollinators (male) and six rows of female plants. During the fall and spring, fields are evaluated and off types are removed to eliminate them from production. In July, pollinators are destroyed in preparation for an August harvest of the female plants that bear the hybrid seed. Seed is then swathed and left to dry in fields. After the seed is dried, a combine harvests the seed windrows and loads the seed into large wooden boxes labeled with a barcode that is the unique identifier for each seed box. This allows for traceability back to the grower for quality control purposes. The boxes are transported to the Tangent facility where each box is scanned into the computerized, state-of-the-art manufacturing system to ensure that the seed integrity and grower information is retained throughout seed processing.

Seed Processing Steps

Cleaning – The bare seed from the production fields is received in Tangent and placed on the cleaning line machinery to separate sticks, soil, weed seeds and chaff away from the seed. A sample of the clean seed is then taken to the lab for germination testing.

Hulling – The pericarp – also known as the cork – on the outside of the sugarbeet seed contains chemical inhibitors that hamper seed germination. Machines at this stage use mechanical means to safely remove the pericarp.

Sizing – Each hybrid uses genetics that can result in seed that is shaped and sized differently than other hybrids. Seed will also vary significantly depending upon the production year and grower management practices. All of these factors are taken into consideration during the sizing process. Betaseed assesses each lot of seed after hulling and uses sizing equipment to create consistently sized seed lots. Smaller sizes are used for Pro50 and Mini Pellets, whereas larger sized seed is used for Pro100, Pro200 and Regular Pellets. Another germination test is conducted after sizing.

Gravity – Using vibrating action and controlled airflow, gravity tables enable the removal of low density and empty seed (those without an embryo). Samples are taken during this stage for Quality Assurance testing. Samples are also analyzed to ensure that any empty seed is being adequately removed from the process.

Seed Activation – Betaseed’s UltiPro® priming process uses proprietary technology and methodology to pretreat seeds in order to improve seed germination rate, percentage germination, and uniformity of seedling emergence. The process initiates the early stages of germination but does not permit radicle protrusion. The seeds are then dried until needed. 

Coating and Coloring – After seed is primed, it is coated and pelleted to provide uniform planting and sizing. Seed treatments such as Tachigaren® and Poncho® Beta are then applied along with the blue seed coat color. Additional germination and plantability tests are conducted after coating and again after coloring.

Packaging – Seed is packaged in boxes or Load Pro bulk containers and shipped to distribution warehouse locations in each market. A final germination sample is obtained as the seed is packaged and submitted for a series of final tests to ensure that the seed meets and exceeds our Quality Assurance standards.

Quality Assurance

The goal of Betaseed’s quality assurance effort is to ensure that our seed meets and exceeds the expectations our customers have for their fields. To accomplish that, over 60,000 quality tests are conducted at our Tangent facility each season. Routine testing includes:

  • sizing uniformity
  • embryo determination
  • standard germination
  • coating material consistency
  • genetic and physical purity
  • Roundup tolerance
  • seed viability under stress conditions
  • seed treatment verification