Production of Quality Seedling in Rice

 

Importance of seeds Good quality seed can increase yields by 5-20 %. The extent of this increase is directly proportional to the quality of seed that is being sown. Since, seeds are the starting points in cultivation, special care need to be given to ensure the quality of seed before use.

Tips on quality seed production
  • Assure that the seeds for further multiplication are either from a research station or government farm or recognized seed producers.

  • The land used for seed production should be free from volunteer plants of other varieties grown previously.

  • To assure genetic purity, a minimum isolation distance of 3 m from other varieties may be given in the field. Harvesting for seed purpose can also be done leaving a border row of 3 m within the field.

  • Rogue diseased plants, weeds and off-types in time. Line planting facilitates rouging and giving alleyways of 30 cm after every 3 m planting helps in manuring, plant protection operations and supervision.

  • Drain water at least one week before harvesting to assure that the plants attain equal maturity at harvesting. Harvest the crop when 80% of the grains in a panicle are mature (at physiological maturity).

  • During summer months, assure that the plants get sufficient water at dough stage till maturity.

  • Thresh the sheaves on the same day of harvest, as seeds of heaped sheaves may not perform well.

  • Dry seeds properly and assure that the moisture content is not more than 13 per cent.

  • Avoid excess drying in summer months especially short duration varieties as it reduces the period of viability.

  • While drying and storing, avoid contamination from yards or through baskets or bags.

  • Seeds may be stored in damp-proof situations for avoiding absorption of moisture from atmosphere thereby losing viability early.

  • Polythene bags of 700 gauge or double gunny bags may be preferred for storing.

  • Never stack seed bags in open floors. Store on pallets or wooden benches. The benches should be 30 cm away from wall and floor for proper aeration.

  • Never pile more than eight bags in a stack. This should be limited to three bags if the seeds require further drying.

  • Avoid storing plant protection chemicals, herbicides, fertilizers etc. in seed store.

  • Fill up the cracks and crevices of storeroom by cementing to make it rat proof.

  • Spray 2% malathion solution in the godown before storing seeds to check insect pests.

  • Place pieces of cloth dipped in neem oil between stacked bags or neem oil cake covered in cloth bags inside seed bags to ward-off pests.

  • Test seed germination at monthly intervals if the seeds are to be stored for more than eight months.

  • The viability of short duration varieties can be extended for a further period of 2-3 months at 80% level if the seeds are soaked for four hours in water and re-dried in shade, back to original weight at 13% moisture content. Seeds of short duration varieties like Jyothi and Triveni of virippu crop reach this level of germination 9-10 months after harvest and that of mundakan 8-9 months after harvest when stored under ambient conditions.

References Kerala Agricultural University.  2011.  Package of Practices Recommendations: Crops.14th edition. Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur- 360 p.