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Storage of Seed on Plants

Seeds are considered to be physiologically and morphologically mature when they reach maximum dry weight. At this stage dry down or dehydration of the seed is well underway. Dry down continues after physiological maturity until moisture content of the seed and fruit decreases to a level which permits effective and efficient harvest and threshing. This stage can be termed as harvest maturity. There usually is an interval time between physiological maturity and harvest maturity, and this interval represents the first segment of the storage period. Any delay in harvesting the seed after they reach harvest maturity maturity prolongs the first segment of the storage period.

The seed quality is greatly influence by prevailing environmental conditions; from the time seeds reach physiological maturity until harvest. Weathering damages are often a serious factor at this stage. As a result of weathering damages, seeds of many crops, E. g Soybean, lose their viability and vigour and are already low in germination even before they are harvested.

Several factors such as soil conditions, mineral nutrient deficiencies, during plant growth, water stress, high or low temperatures, disease and insect damage, etc. may also deteriorate seed quality by reducing viability and vigour at physiological maturity.

Other things being equal, the seeds that have begun to deteriorate due to one or more factors mentioned above subsequently will not store as well as the relatively, undeteriorated seed.

It is, therefore, of the utmost importance, to maintain initial seed quality to the near maximum attainable, by keeping weathering and other types of damages to the minimum possible. This would mean raising a good health seed crop, early harvesting and adequate arrangements for seed drying.

Current Category » Principles of Seed Technology