Seed Treatment: Methods, Objectives, Pre-Storage Treatment

Three varieties Of Seeds
Three varieties Of Seeds

Seed treatment is the mixing, coating, or soaking of chemicals or protectants, nutrients, hormones, or growth regulators into seeds. They are exposed to a variety of energy (radiation, heat, electricity) in order to repel pests and other insects that attack seeds or seedlings. Controlling pests while the seed is in storage and after it has been sown/planted is also part of seed treatment.

Objectives of seed treatment:

  • Its main role is to protect seeds from seed borne diseases and pest attacks.

  • To revive a seed that has been dormant for a long time.

  • Drought tolerance is induced.

  • Early emergence is used to increase the percentage of seeds that germinate.

  • To keep birds and vermin out.

  • Using X-rays, Gamma rays, and colchicines, obtain polyploides (genetic variety).

Different methods of seed treatment:

  • Dry treatment: Mixing the seed with pesticides/nutrients in powder form.

  • Wet treatment: Soaking the seeds in a pesticide/nutrient solution in liquid form.

  • Slurry treatment: Seeds/seedlings are dipped in a slurry. Rice seedlings, for example, are immersed in phosphate slurry. 

  • Pelleting: It is the process of coating seed with enough seed ingredients to make the seeds larger, heavier, and consistent in size for sowing using seed drills. Pesticide pelleting is used to protect soil organisms and pests, as well as to repel birds, ants, and rodents.

Pre storage seed treatment

Fungicide, insecticide, or a combination of both, as well as any other chemical or plant product, are applied to seeds prior to storage. The goal is to keep seeds fresh for longer by disinfecting them against seed-borne or seed-storage diseases and storage insects, as well as minimizing seed deterioration directly or indirectly.

Characteristics of ideal chemical seed treatment:

  • It must be extremely effective in the face of harmful organisms.

  • Seeds must be somewhat unaffected.

  • Even if overused, it should be safe for humans, animals, and cattle.

  • During seed storage, it should be relatively stable for a long time.

  • It should be simple to operate.

  • It should be economically competitive.

Types of pre-storage seed treatment:

Seed disinfection:

Seed disinfection refers to the removal of fungal and bacterial spores that have established themselves in the seed coat (or) in deeper tissues. Fungicidal treatments must reach the seed to kill the fungus that is there for effective control.

Seed disinfestations:

Seed disinfectants refer to the destruction of surface-borne organisms that have contaminated the seed surface but not infected the seed surface. Application of chemicals through chemical dips, soaks, fungicides, or pesticides applied as dust have been found successful.

Seed protection:

The main purpose is to protect the seed and young seedlings from organisms in the soil, which might otherwise cause decay of the seed before germination.

About Authors:

  1. S. Sakthivel - IV Year, B.Sc. (Agriculture), Prist deemed-to-be University, Vallam, Thanjavur.

  2. S.Balamurugan - Assistant Professor (Department of Entomology), Prist deemed-to-be University, Vallam, Thanjavur.

  3. Dr. P. Guna, Ph. D - Assistant Professor (Department of Agricultural extension), Prist deemed-to-be University, Vallam, Thanjavur.

(Also read: Top 10 Seed Companies In The World)


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