Is dried grain considered dead or dormant botanically?
Dried grains are very mostly viable means they are in a dormant state until and unless suitable condition are provided. More dried it will be viable for longer.
In fact there are seeds found in Siberia which are ~32,000 years and still viable.
Courtesy: National Geographic
I got to thinking that there must be a distinction between grain and the germ. The grain must die in order for the germ to come alive. I am confident that the germ will not grow so long as the grain is alive. It is through the process of its dying and acquiring moisture from the earth, that the grain converts to sugar which supports the germ and enables it to sprout. The germ is in the grain, but separate & distinct from the grain, like a baby in the womb is in the mother, but separate and distinct from her. With grain, the mother must die for the germination to occur. With humans not so.