What Make A Quality Seed
Seeds are the foundation of agriculture. Technology has modernized much of farming’s day-to-day operations, but without a steady supply of high-quality seed, yields and crop quality would be greatly decreased.
Seed quality plays an important role in the production of agronomic and horticultural crops. Characteristics such as trueness to variety, germination percentage, purity, vigor, and appearance are important to farmers planting crops and to homeowners establishing lawns and gardens. Achieving and maintaining high seed quality is the goal of every professional seed producer.
The selection of the best planting material is basic to good crop production practices. The role of seedling is crucial for the advancement of agriculture. Good seeds have a high growing ability, can grow simultaneously, are of a good quality and always available as well. The use of good seeds is essential to promote the food security program and also develop agro-industries. Good seeds must be consistently used and its supply in the community should be guaranteed in both quality and continuity. In order to produce quality seed, a good drying is needed. Although the sun light is available abundantly, in the rainy season, a drying machine is still required to maintain the quality, quantity and continuity of good seeds.
Quality seed must be high in germination, relatively free from insect or mechanical damage, pure for the crop variety, and contain little or no inert matter or weed seeds. For maximum profit quality seed must be used in conjunction with good cultural practices, correct fertilizer rates, and adequate control of plant pests.
There are several factors to consider when selecting the seed type to plant in the crop production unit as follows:
1. Fertilizer requirements on improved seed will be higher than for native lines
2. Save their own seed shall be the one saved from cropping season to next by the farmer
Selecting quality wheat seed
Most of the Texas wheat crop has endured rought and late-season freezes this year. Both can be detrimental to seed quality, especially the late-season freezes. Each of these factors should be considered before keeping, purchasing, and planting seed this fall. Remember, good seed equates to better plant stands, better fall growth, and higher grain yields, especially when planting conditions are less than ideal.
When the freezes occurred on March 28-29, and April 5-6, much of the wheat crop across the state was at a susceptible growth stage, conducive to injury by freezing temperatures. Based on observations, the late freezes will likely affect seed quality in Central Texas, the Blacklands, Northeast Texas, the Rolling Plains, and portions of the High Plains.
In these regions, much of the wheat had headed or was very close to heading when the freezes occurred. At this stage, even temperatures as mild as 30 to 32 degrees can result in sterile flowers and halt seed development. If the flower was sterilized, no seed will be developed. However, if the wheat plant was in the seed development stage, much of the seed will be very small, shriveled, and will not likely germinate. So, special precautions should be considered this year before saving seed for planting or when purchasing seed.
While there is most definitely reason for concern over next year’s seed quality, availability, and price, there is no reason to panic. As long as we take time to look at potential seed quality and use some judicious precautions (listed below) we should be able to ensure that our seed is worth keeping and planting.
There are several questions a person should ask before keeping or purchasing seed this year, including:
- Does the seed look healthy? Plump seeds with good color are ideal. Large, plump seeds contain more energy and thus result in better plant stands and early season forage growth, than smaller shriveled seed. In addition, larger seeds are more forgiving on deeper planting depths and provide better seedling vigor. Keep in mind when comparing seed size that some varieties just naturally produce a larger seed than others. Always compare seed size of the same variety.
- What is the test weight (bushel weight)? Test weight is a good initial indicator of seed quality, but is not an absolute. If the bushel weight is below 58 pounds, this warrants further investigation into seed quality. If you are purchasing certified seed, the seed tags should state the test weight. Also, be aware that small shriveled seeds can sometimes have a high test weight due to being more densely packed into a given volume (pounds per bushel). So, test weight should always be considered along with seed size. Below is an example of the importance of test weight on germination, emergence, and yield.
- Does the seed have good germination? Unfortunately, a germination test should not be conducted immediately following harvest because winter wheat has a natural seed dormancy mechanism that prevents the seed from germinating for about 4 weeks after harvest (some varieties even longer). So, the only option for determining the seed viability immediately after harvesting is to have a TZ (tetrazolium) test run through the TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) seed laboratory or a private seed laboratory.
Selecting Quality Corn Seeds
Importance of Selecting High Quality Seeds
The seed is the foundation of a good crop. The use of high quality seeds is a must in the production of high quality corn especially for commercial grains.
Low quality seeds create production problems like low population density, non-uniformity of crop stages and harvesting problems.
Guide to Seed Selection: Things to Remember
- If you buy seeds, select certified seeds. These seeds have high percentage of germination, viability and free from weed seeds and diseases.
- If you get seeds from your harvest, select corn ears whose kernels are well-developed and free from pests and diseases.
- Select seeds that are high yielding, early maturing, tolerant to pests and diseases and adapted to the climatic conditions of your area.
Hybrid vs. OPV
Hybrid corn is the first generation of a cross that involves two or more inbred lines. These inbred lines are obtained within 5-7 generations of inbreeding. You will note that yields of inbreds are greatly reduced because of inbreeding.
First generation hybrids yield 20-30% more than open-pollinated varietives (OPVs). Superior plant vigor and productivity are observed only during the first generation of planting.
If harvested seeds (second generation seeds) are used for next planting, resulting harvest is expected to be 40-50% lower than previous crop yield. Plants will also be less uniform in growth, height and maturity.
Open-pollinated varieties (OPVs)
Open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) of corn are grown over a long period and maintained by natural cross-pollination from generation to generation.
An OPV is usually distinguished from other varieties by its early maturity, color, shape of kernels and other agronomic characteristics.
In terms of yield, OPVs are more variable than hybrids. However, unlike hybrids, seeds of OPVs can be used over and over without significantly reducing yield levels, provided their genetic purity is maintained.
Seed Germination Test
- Polyethylene or plastic sheet bag
- Manila paper
- Rubber bands
- Corn seeds
- Soak a piece of manila paper in clean water.
- Spread the manila paper on top of a table and scatter 100 seeds.
- Cover with another piece of manila paper, roll and tie both ends with rubber bands. Then dip or soak in clean water, place inside a polyethylene or plastic sheet bag and incubate at room temperature.
- Conduct initial evaluation after four days of incubation. Count normal seedlings and remove moldy seeds or seedling.
- Conduct final evaluation after seven days of incubation. Again, count normal seedlings, abnormal seedlings and dead seeds.
- Compute for the percentage of germination using the following formula:
% germination = Total number of normal seedlings x 100
Total number of seeds sown
Selecting Quality Cannabis Seeds
Although it might be hard to believe, you can actually judge the quality of Cannabis seeds before it even sprouts. Being able to distinguish between a dud and a potential winner can make growing marijuana that much easier. It’s also important to be able to judge seed quality because you can end up with an entire batch of unusable seeds.
There are many potential reasons for this, but, in large part, it stems from marijuana’s illegality and the difficulty getting the seeds shipped to the U.S. Many of the seeds you’ll get your hands on have been processed and packaged hastily and then probably mishandled during shipment.
If you want to be sure to get high quality seeds you should get them from an online seedbank. Ilovegrowingmarijuana.com ships high quality feminized seeds to the US and CA and germination is guaranteed. If you use the instructions that comes with every order and some seeds don’t germinate you get new ones for free. Orders always arrive due to ingenius stealth packaging. Want to know more about growing marijuana
Getting your seeds from black market dealers is potentially hazardous, and in many countries it is not needed. Even in countries where the drug laws are quiet extensive such as UK, companies like IceHeadShop.co.uk are able to sell cannabis seeds for “souvenir” purposes.
Buying Cannabis seeds from dealers is fraught with danger plus you might not have any idea where the seeds actually came from, or they might know they came from shady backgrounds. For the most part, when large commercial growers are harvesting, they don’t really care whether or not the seeds have been allowed to stay inside the female plant and mature fully. Their main goal is to get the weed pulled, dried, and out to the customer as quickly as possible. In fact, it’s not in their best interest to be selling seeds to prospective growers because then it reduces the amount of money you’ll spend with them.
Unfortunately, this is true whether you bought the marijuana seeds from the dealer down the street or the overseas company online. But, knowing which seeds will actually sprout and which ones will just lie permanently dormant can help you increase the rate at which you see sprouts. It is, in fact, rare for more than one third of the seeds to produce a sprout. This is an astronomically low number, but if you can throw out duds from the get-go, you can certainly improve those odds.
For the most part, you’re going to want to use mature seeds. These seeds are usually easy to spot because they will be dark brown with a swirl of different, slightly lighter stripes. Seeds that are white or light green are not ready to be planted and will never be. These seeds indicate plants that were harvested far too early. There’s no harm in trying to get them to sprout, but the likelihood is almost nil. For the mature seeds, you’re going to want to pay special attention to the rounder, fatter ones of the group. Those will have the greatest chance of sprouting and giving you a good yield at harvest time.