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11 Effective Strategies by Which Farmers Can Produce their Own High-Quality Seeds

Farmer should harvest only at the time of full maturity when the grain moisture content is between 20−25% moisture content or 80−85% of the grains are straw-colored.

Dr Poonam Batra
photo source: Rice Knowledge Bank
photo source: Rice Knowledge Bank

Seed is the basic and most critical input for sustainable agriculture. The response of all other inputs depends on the quality of seeds to a large extent. It is estimated that the direct contribution of quality seed alone to the total production is about 15 – 20% depending upon the crop and it can be further raised to 45% with efficient management of other inputs. 

Farmers who wish to produce their own good quality seeds should follow these steps:

1. First of all, farmers need to select a fertile field.

2. They have to use clean, good-quality seeds.

3. They have to plow, puddle, and level the field well to control weeds, insects & diseases and improve water management.

4. If transplanting always plants young (15−20 d) seedlings from a healthy, weed-free nursery at two per hill at 22.5 cm x 22.5 cm spacing.

5. Farmer should use/apply balanced nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sulphur, and Zinc) as per crop demand.

6. Always check your crop at regular intervals to keep the crop free of weeds, insect pests, and diseases.

7. At maximum tillering and flowering, remove the poor, diseased, or insect-damaged plants, or plants with discolored panicles, and also cut off plants (by plant height, appearance, flowering time, etc.)

8. Farmer should harvest only at the time of full maturity when the grain moisture content is between 20−25% moisture content or 80−85% of the grains are straw-colored.

9. The farmer should thresh, clean, dry (12−14% moisture content), grade, and label the harvested seed.

10. Farmers need to store the labeled seeds in sealed clean containers placed in a cool, dry, and clean area.

11. Farmers now need to do winnowing to get good quality seeds as harvested seed includes seeds of varying sizes and non-seed matter. Winnowing is the sorting of good-sized healthy seeds and removal of non-seed matter from the harvested seeds (e.g., weeds and plant debris).

A full plump (heavier) seed can be selected by winnowing with natural wind or an electric fan. For winnowing always pour seed slowly from a height of 1−1.5 m. Repeat winnowing, if necessary. Select heavier seed closer to the side from which the wind blows. This procedure will also remove lighter weed seed and non-seed matter.

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