Seed Production techniques (part 1)
Substantial increase in yield and quality of crops depends upon a number of factors.
The use of high-quality seed plays a vital role in the crop production.
Farming can benefit by use of advanced varieties of seeds. In this course, we will study:
1) Importance of Quality Seeds
2) Difference between seed and edible grain
3) Types of plants
4) Seed production
Importance of Quality Seeds
• It is basic element to good crop and yield and increases agricultural production.
• It is the cheapest in crop production but it is most important key of agriculture progress.
• Crop status largely depends on the seed materials used.
• According to the experts, good quality seeds to improved varieties can contribute about 20-25% increase in yield.
Difference between seed and grain
Should satisfy minimum seed certification standards
No such requirements
Must have germination capacity Not compulsory
It should be Genetically pure Not so
Not all seeds are edible. Almost all grains are edible.
Types of plants
Depending on pollination, plants are divided in two types-
a) Self-pollination: In this, both males and females are found in the same plant. There is less dependence on the external factors to cause pollination. These plants depend on wind or other smaller insects that visit the flower regularly. Example- paddy, wheat etc.
b) Cross-pollination: In this, the pollen is transferred from the anthers of one flower to the stigma of another flower. Cross-pollination is always dependent on another agent to cause the pollination. Example-maize. This degrades the seed quality.
Production of high-quality seed is vital to modern agriculture. Seed quality can have a major impact on crop yield. The following points are necessary for seed production-
• Crop selection
Factors affecting crop selection-
1) Climate factor
2) Water requirement
3) Soil condition
4) Availability and cost of planting materials
• Selection of crop species
Always select the same crop species which is recommended in your local region.
• Class of Seeds
The seeds are categorized into three parts and we can easily identify by their tag colour. Certification is required only for foundation seeds and certified seeds.
There are about 23 seed certified institutions in India. Farmers who want to produce seeds are required to register first. A date has been determined for registration.
For Rabi crops- 15th January
For Kharif crops- 15th July
• Precautions while buying seeds
a) Buy only certified seeds.
b) Take the receipt while purchasing the seed.
c) Never buy open seeds.
d) Buy the seeds after seeing the label.
e) Must read the written specification in the tag.
• Seed Treatment
Seed treatment refers to protect the seeds from pathogens, insects, soil-borne pathogens and unusual conditions.
Ex- Vitavax is a fungicide used for seed treatment. It uses 2.5g/kg seed.
Note- For seed producers, it is very important to make a proper document in which all the required information are available like seed details, pesticide details, etc.
Seed Production Techniques (part 2)
- Rouging is required for seed production.
- It is a process of removal of weak, undesirable, diseased or abnormal plants from the field.
- In order to maintain the genetic purity, seed crop should be isolated from other crops of other varieties.
- Rouging at all stages of the crop in the field is an essential requirement. They are easy to identify. They may differ – in height, colour, maturity and flowering time, etc.
- The field should have uniform plants.
- Premature and post-flowering plants should be removed from the field.
- In some plants, a similar bud came out but it ripened quickly compared to others, such plants should also be removed from the field.
- All buds should have the same color, composition, length, thickness, uniformity. If not, such plants should be removed from the field.
Use of Fertilizer & Irrigation
When the crop is sown after treating the seeds, it is necessary to take full care of the amount of water and fertilizers at the time of irrigation.
Soils naturally contain many nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients help plants to grow. When soil nutrients are missing or in short supply, plants suffer from nutrient deficiency and stop growing.
- Farmers use fertilizers because these substances contain plant nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Fertilizer should be used in balanced quantities in the crop.
- Farmers have the myth that a high amount of nitrogen makes the crop better, but it is not so. Rather it makes the colour of plants more green which invites insects and diseases. Fertilizer should always be given in the crop in 4: 2: 1 (nitrogen: phosphorus: potassium) quantity.
- Do not use too much urea in the crop; this causes damage to the crop.
It is important to supply water to crops and plants from periodically according to their requirement. Irrigation is the appropriate supply of water to plants.
According to experts, irrigation should be done within 20-25 days, otherwise the productivity of the crop decreases significantly and seed quality also affected.
Irrigation provides the moisture that is crucial during the germination phase of the plant’s life cycle.