An article by R.C. Collison in the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry reveals that the proportion of organic minerals to inorganic minerals is much higher in seeds than in the stem or leafy parts. Even when there are few organic minerals available in soil, a greater amount will be delivered to the seed.
Still another experiment, this by researcher Thomas H. Mather more than a century ago (reported in Scientific Agriculture), showed that seeds actually reject chemical fertilizer. Only stalks and leaves accepted it.
Some years ago, the late J.I. Rodale, founder of Prevention magazine and Organic Farming, wrote a letter of inquiry on this subject to Professor William A. Albrecht, chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri and one of the foremost researchers in organic growing.
Here is the essence of Dr. Albrecht's reply:
The chemical composition of seeds does not fluctuate as widely as the chemical composition of vegetation. The seed is the means of survival of the species. This survival will not be possible unless a minimum of food materials is contained in the seed.
It is well established that when the fertility of the soil drops to a low level, less seed is produced. Seemingly, the amount of seed is the variable, while the quality of the seed is more nearly constant. The fertility of the soil as a growth-providing substance seems to determine the seed production, rather than the air, water, and sunshine that contribute the starches and the energy materials.