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bagseed grow

Other important factors to consider:

When it comes to severance pay, there are no laws that mandate how much to give. Offer enough monetary “consideration” for the employee to sign away their right to file a claim or lawsuit. My basic rule of thumb for calculating severance is simple: exempt equals one month of salary for every year worked; for an hourly employee, two weeks for every year. Consideration can also be in the form of company-paid health benefits, stock, outplacement services, relocation expenses, etc.

Don’t underestimate the true cost of a bad hire: Productivity goes down, morale is low, and the time involved in meetings, coaching and counseling probably is not worth it in the end. Minimize the negative impact on the company’s bottom line: Get rid of the bad apple before it starts to spoil the whole fruit bowl.

My recent posts covered how to make the best hiring decisions (Combatting Employee Turnover Before You Hire and The Importance of Background Checks). But what happens when you do all the right things, and you still wind up with a bad apple?

A few more words to wise: Keep it all business, and avoid the personal feelings that sneak in. I understand the desire to be nice when terminating someone. Many of my clients want to help ease the employee into unemployment by giving a longer period of notice, so the terminated employee can “work” and look for a job at the same time. While there are times when that is appropriate, don’t lose sight of how you got here in the first place. Also, keeping someone around who isn’t going to stick around is awkward; it can leave the rest of the team feeling uncomfortable, and in the end, you don’t get any “real” work from the exiting employee. You get short-timer’s disease and a disgruntled team.

Crop stands are poor if seed is poor. (Photo AF van Herwaarden)

Is the seed poor?


Seed rate needed (kg/ha) = (Desired seed rate (kg/ha) * 100)/Germination (%).

Poor seed results in poor crop vigor and poor crop establishment.

NOTE: Do a germination test by counting out several lots of preferably 100 seeds taken from well inside the seed sacks keeping each seed lot separate. Dampen squares of paper or toweling and spread each group of seeds on a towel so the seeds are not touching each other. Cover them with a second damp paper towel. Roll up each sandwich of seeds and put in a plastic bag to prevent the towels from drying out. Keep the bags at room temperature. After 4-5 days count how many seeds have germinated in each lot. Percentage germination is the number of germinated seeds divided by the number of seeds in the sample * 100.

Good Seed? Bad Seed?

Seeds with germination rates of 30% or lower should probably be discarded. Not only will the germination rate be low, but even the seeds that do manage to sprout will probably be less vigorous and more prone to pests and diseases.

Make the first germination check after two or three days. Keep checking at regular intervals to note the rate of seed germination. Once a day is not too often after germination begins. Most viable seeds will germinate within two to three weeks, and some will sprout much sooner. For example, seeds of the cabbage family will often sprout in a few days while carrot seeds can take up to three weeks.

Place the bag in a warm spot like the top of a hot-water heater or refrigerator, near a wood stove or on a high shelf near a hot-air vent. The most rapid seed germination occurs when temperatures remain consistently between 70 and 80 degrees. Make sure the paper towel inside the plastic bag remains damp during the entire testing period, moistening it if it shows signs of drying out.

To test for germination, spread a paper towel on a water proof surface and wet down with warm water, using a spray bottle or some similar spraying device. Don’t make the towel too wet. If water beads up around your fingertip when you press on the towel, it is too wet.