Ottawa Valley Seed Growers
County seed shows are coming again in the spring — and now is the time to think about getting ready!
Volunteers of the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association put their heads together and came up with their best tips to help you prepare.
- Find out when your Soil and Crop Association is holding a county seed show. Mark it on your calendar and remind your friends and neighbours.
- Harvest is a busy time: Keep a few bags or pails handy in your machines to remind you to grab a sample.
- Remember to collect your seed sample before you send all your seed to the elevator.
- You don’t have to do anything with the sample now – just hold it until you have some time this winter to clean.
- Don’t keep your samples in a sealed bag where they might mould or spoil. Leave them sit in an open container until completely dry.
- Keep samples in a safe place so rodents can’t get in.
- Don’t store your seed show samples in a barn with animals.
- Silage samples should be kept cool leading up to the show.
- You will find your best samples in your best fields, and those that are weedfree.
- Cleaning the sample should be fun. Clean while you are chatting, listening to music or a hockey game.
- Clean your sample in a well-lit area or use supplemental lighting and a magnifying lens.
- Spread your sample on a cookie tray to clean – then you can see all the bits.
- When preparing small seeds, borrow screens from the local elevator to save time.
- Ask for help to clean the sample. Many hands make light work.
- Read the rules of the show!
- If the show prize does not list all the information you are looking for, ask! Or look further at the Agricultural Judging Standards booklet for judging guidelines.
- Use a scale (bathroom scale will work) to make sure your sample has enough weight. Small samples could be disqualified.
- When getting ready to take your samples to the county seed show, call your friends and neighbours and offer to take their samples in too.
- Fully complete your entry tag. Make sure you enter the proper class and add your name and contact information.
- Be sure to visit the seed show and celebrate the results. Enjoy the adventure, the comradery and friendly competition. Contact your local Soil and Crop Improvement Association for information about the local show in your community. Top entries will have the opportunity to move on to complete at the Ottawa Valley Championship Seed, Feed and Forage Show, and all winning entries will be on display in the Court of Honour at the 2023 Ottawa Valley Farm Show. For more on the 2023 Seed Show Program visit ottawafarmshow.com.