Seed Treatment Objectives, Methods, Pre-Storage Treatment and Types

Seed treatment

Seed treatment is a process in of application of chemical or protectant, nutrient, hormones or growth regulators to seeds by mixing, coating, or soaking. They are subjected to various energies (radiation, heat, electricity) and repel against pest or other insects that attacks seeds or seedlings. Seed treatment also includes controlling of pests when the seed is in storage and after it has been sowed/planted.

Objectives of seed treatment:

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

  • To break the dormancy of seed.

  • To induce drought tolerance.

  • To induce higher germination percentage, early emergence.

  • To protect from birds and rodents.

  • Obtain polyploides (genetic variation) by treating with X-rays, Gamma rays and colchicines.

Different methods of seed treatment:

Dry treatment:

Mixing the seed with the powder form of pesticides/ nutrients.

Wet treatment:

Soaking the seeds in liquid form of pesticides/nutrient solution.

Slurry treatment:

Dipping of seeds/seedings in slurry.

For example: Rice seedlings are dipped in phosphate slurry.


It is the coating of seed with seed materials in sufficient quantities to make the seeds larger, heavier, and to appear uniform in size for sowing with seed drills. Pelleting with pesticides as a protectant against soil organism, soil pests and as a repellant against birds, ants and rodents.

Pre storage seed treatment
Pre storage seed treatment

Pre storage seed treatment

Pre storage seed treatment refers to the application of fungicide, insecticide, or a combination of both, or any other chemical or plant products to seeds. The purpose is to maintain and prolong the shelf life of seeds and disinfect seeds from seed borne or seed storage pathogens and storage insects, besides directly or indirectly reducing seed deterioration.

Characteristics of ideal chemical seed treatment:

  • It must be highly effective against pathogenic organism

  • It must be relatively non-toxic to seeds

  • It should be harmless to human and animals and livestock, even if misused

  • It should be stable for relatively longer period of time during seed storage

  • It should be easy to use

  • It should to economically competitive

Types of pre-storage seed treatment:

Seed disinfection:

Seed disinfection refers to the eradication of fungal, bacterial spore growth that have been established in the seed coat (or) in more deep-seated tissues.  For effective control, the fungicidal treatments must penetrate the seed in order to kill the fungus that is present.

Seed disinfestations:

Seed disinfectants refers 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 dusts 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.

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