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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dimensional and Density Data for Seeds of Grain and Other Crops

Author
item Nelson, Stuart

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 18, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The fundamental properties of grain kernels and seeds of other crops are important in understanding many phenomena associated with grain and seed handling and processing and the design of equipment for planting or seeding, harvesting and cleaning, and drying and conditioning. Certain physical properties of grain and seed have long been used as indicators of product quality. Moisture content is important in determining storability and maintenance of quality. Test weight, the bulk density determined under prescribed conditions, can indicate the degree of kernel filling during growth or the presence of shriveled kernels and is therefore an indicator of quality. Grain yields are generally determined by use of standard test weights established for each commodity, so adjustments must be made for low test weights, and prices are usually adjusted both for test weights and moisture contents outside of desired ranges. Dimensions of seeds of more than twenty different kinds and types of grain and other crops were determined, and moisture content, test weight, and individual kernel and seed weights and volumes were also determined. Seed densities, weight per unit volume, were also obtained. Collectively, these data supplement the limited kernel and seed data currently available in the literature for reference. A new technique was developed for determining seed volume and density from simple dimension measurements and weight of a seed of these twenty kinds. The new data will be helpful in research on improving certain phases of agricultural production and product processing for food, thus helping farmers and consumers as well.

Technical Abstract: Dimensions of seeds of more than twenty different kinds and types of grain and other crops were determined by caliper measurements. Individual kernel and seed weights were obtained, and mean volumes were determined by air-comparison pycnometer measurements for use in determining kernel and seed densities. Test weight (bulk density) measurements were also taken and moisture contents were determined by standard tests. Collectively, these data supplement the limited kernel and seed data currently available in the literature for reference. The product of the three orthogonal dimensions (length, width and thickness) was calculated for each kind of seed. A volume coefficient was determined as the ratio of the measured mean volume to the orthogonal-dimension product. The volume coefficients are useful in estimating seed volume from seed dimensional data. With use of the volume coefficient, seed density can be estimated for a particular kind of seed from seed weight and dimensions.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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