Dr. Justin Tuggle did a great job at the Organic Cotton/Peanut Seminar discussing peanut seed quality. He showed some great pictures of peanut seed with the seed coat removed showing the damage underneath. His point, which is 100% right, is that this damage is causing the germination problems in peanut fields and this damage is mostly caused by harvest equipment.
I was in a “webinar” recently and part of the discussion was damaged cotton seed as well. Some observations have shown that upwards of 30% of the seed in a bag is damaged in some way. In some cases, the damage was up to 50%. The seed may germinate but it is evident that the vigor is diminished. This was in a conventional seed bag with seed treatments!
Corn seed can have just as many problems but again seed treatments can make a difference and do. I have seen lots of estimates but in cold soils damaged corn seed in the bag can lower overall germination 20% to as much as 50%.
This issue is difficult to solve but realizing some of the causes is a big first step.