MSU launches online seed research data file, updated training

Starkville: Nearly five decades of Mississippi State’s internationally recognized research in seed technology now is available online.

To digitize and provide easy access to a half-century of work compiled at the campus-based Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, former university employee Bennie Keith recently joined with administrators of Mississippi State University Libraries. The archive may be accessed at

Scientists with the MAFES Seed Technology Laboratory traveled regularly throughout the nation and world from 1950-98 to share their findings.

Formerly the Mississippi Seed Improvement Association, MCIA continues to operate from the Starkville campus.

Keith said that, according to the MSU doctoral graduate in agronomy, the seed industry fundamentally changed some 25 years ago, evolving from small family-run businesses to large agricultural companies. With changes came both an increased importance of seed technologies and the cost of seeds. Modern varieties are genetically modified to meet demands for improved yield and effects of insect, weed and disease pressures.

While technologies may have changed, the need for basic information remains critical. The recent resurgence in seed technology has created a pressing need to have past research available to current industry users, Keith said.

“Our goals are to work through the entire seed value chain,” Ward said. “Last year, we focused on harvesting and storing seed because that is where the needs were according to industry representatives. This year’s course covers everything from bin to bag and will include techniques in seed cleaning, separating and sorting.”

The course takes place at MSU’s Bost Extension Center. In addition to viewing demonstrations of the latest equipment, participants will attend sessions on seed testing and labeling, along with intellectual property, legal and litigation issues.

Ward said registration remains open at

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