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October : New facility improves seed production

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8 October, 2012

New facility improves seed production

A new cutting-edge seedling processing facility has been developed at the Mountain Home Nursery that will result in significant improvement in the quality of seed production.

"It is the fist time that we have had equipment to do proper size classing of seed," said Technical Manager, Ben Pienaar. "Using the size class separation equipment we can remove the non-viable seed, and separate out the biggest seed, which will enable us to improve seed germination. This will have a significant impact on the cost and quality of seedling production," said Ben.

The Seedex facility, as it is known, includes a kiln which will assist in the drying of pine cones and eucalyptus seed capsules as well as equipment to extract, clean and classify the seed into size classes.

The Mondi team that was involved in designing the facility, with local and international partners, included Marius du Plessis (Tree Improvement Manager), Owen Petersen (Seed Production Manager) and Tony Winter (Trahar Technology Centre Manager).

The latest development further enhances the research facilities at Mountain Home which provides crucial research, plant production and tree improvement services to Mondi Forests. This is a highly productive and versatile research facility which includes a state of the art research nursery, modern seed extraction, processing and storage facility, wood quality and tissue culture laboratories, and houses the cold tolerant eucalyptus and pine tree improvement programmes.

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