The Use of Color Sorters in Seed Production

The Use of Color Sorters in Seed Production

Efficient production of the highest quality seed. That is the driving force behind our processing facility expansion and upgrade. One very interesting (and sometimes surprising) piece of equipment that makes this possible is the addition of twin color sorters. 

Color sorting technology is  commonplace in many types of manufacturing and has made its way into the seed industry. From making sure burned pieces don’t make it into your favorite snack to segregating recycling, optical sorters are highly efficient and very versatile systems that can significantly improve product quality. At Jacobsen Seed, color sorters are placed towards the end of the processing system and greatly improve the segregation of discolored or off type seeds that are similar in size/shape/weight to desired product. Optical systems are able to eject products with unwanted characteristics that traditional mechanical sorting methods may struggle to sort out. They do this at amazing speeds with very little loss of the good product. The speed and efficiency of the systems are a wonder of modern technology. 

This extra level of sorting is beneficial to seed quality because seed discoloration can  sometimes be an indication of lower quality or less vigor. Causes of discoloration can include minor damage, presence of a pathogen, or normal variation of maturity at time of harvest. The goal is to have the highest possible yield potential when you receive your bag of Jacobsen Seed. It does not however make it more likely to withstand poor conditions at planting so make sure to follow appropriate agronomic practices!


  • Seed flows past cameras/sensors in a single layer at very high speeds.
  • Seed is viewed against a set background and the signal is compared to predetermined dark and / or light levels. 
  • Seeds that are outside those parameters are ejected using a stream of highly localized compressed air. 
  • Accepted seed continues through the processing facility and rejected seed is gathered and discarded.

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages to see the color sorting system in action!

Instagram: @jacobsenseed