About Seed Priming

Seed priming is a physiologically based, seed enhancement products for improving the germination characteristics of seeds. Seed priming is accomplished by partially hydrating seeds and maintaining them under defined moisture, temperature and aeration conditions for a prescribed period of time. In this state, seeds are optimally hydrated and desirable metabolic activity is attained, thereby allowing important pre-germination steps to be accomplished within the seeds. These include: repair of membranes, DNA and RNA synthesis and repair, development of immature embryos, alteration of tissues covering the embryo, destruction or removal of dormancy blocks, and general pre-germination metabolism enhancement. At the conclusion of the priming process, seeds are re-dried to their storage moisture levels. The gains made in priming are not lost following dry-back of the seeds. Following the priming process, seeds are physiologically closer to germination and, therefore, have fewer steps to complete than un-primed seeds in order to accomplish germination and growth after planting.

Kam-Prime Seed Priming Technology

Commercial applications of seed priming have expanded rapidly in recent years. In North America, more than 20 companies are actively priming over fifty vegetable, herb, flower, reclamation, forage and turf species utilizing various seed priming technologies. Priming results / benefits may vary, depending on the priming technology used.  Results are largely a function of the environment established during the seed priming process. Inadequate aeration, imbibition stress and poor temperature conditions during seed priming can have a negative impact on seeds. Kamterter addressed the seed quality risks associated with a number of priming technologies when it developed and patented the Solid Matrix Seed Priming process (SMP®). The SMP® process provided one of the most friendly and versatile seed priming services available to the seed industry, thereby expanding the list of vegetable and flower species that could be primed effectively. Kamterter has drawn from over 25 years of experience as a leader in the seed enhancement industry to move forward from the SMP® technology benchmark with Kam-Prime seed priming technology, the cutting edge seed enhancement technology for vegetable, herb, flower, turf, forage, reclamation, and agronomic crops species.

The Effect Kam-Prime Seed Priming Technology has on seeds

Kam-Prime  seed priming technology can have a significant impact on seed performance. Characteristics typical of Kam-Primed seeds are listed below and the general effect Kam-Prime seed priming technology has on seed germination is shown in figures 1A and 1B.

Characteristics of Kam-Primed Seeds

  • Faster germination than raw (non-primed) seeds: normally a 50% reduction in time.
  • Uniform germination: marked improvements in stand uniformity.
  • Cold soil emergence: 8° to 15° F advantage over non-primed seeds.
  • High temperature, germination & emergence: great advantage over non-primed seeds.
  • Elimination of dormancy factors: important with some species/cultivars.
  • Germination at reduced seed water content: generally primed seeds are able to germinate at seed moisture contents 2% to 3% lower than non-primed seeds.
The Effect Kam-Prime Seed Priming Technology Has on Seed Germination
Figure 1-A
Kam-Prime Figure 1-B
Figure 1-B

The Benefits of Using Kam-Primed Seeds

Kam-Primed seeds can be a valuable management tool in many cropping systems. The benefits provided by Kam-Primed seeds that are most often cited are:

    • Earlier Stand Establishment: earlier harvest and/ or shift to longer season variety.
    • Healthier Stands: fast start allows crop to escape many seedling diseases and other pressures on the developing stand. Stronger seedlings are better able to survive stresses that may occur at a later time.
    • Improved Crop Uniformity: more precise management of operations (weed control, irrigation)during the early stages of the crop. In some crops, uniformity can result in reduced harvesting costs & improved crop quality.
    • Enhanced Root Development: primed seedlings generally have more developed root systems.
    • Reduced Seeding Rates: reduced by 10-30% with many crops.
    • Better Weed Control: fast, uniform start reduces impact of early season weed competition and allows more precise and timely weed management.
    • Reduced Irrigation Needs: shortens period of intensive watering after planting; reduces time, water use & disease pressure.
    • Healthier and More Uniform Transplants: higher usable percentage & reduced cycle time.
    • Increased Yield: increased yield often results from the benefits listed above.
    • Improved Performance After Coating Applications: offsets/overcomes the retardation in germination common with coatings.


  • The benefits of priming may vary by crop, region, and production system.


  • Get “The Most Value From Your Seed.”