How to ensure seed quality
Seed is the foundation of any rice crop. It must be grown, harvested, and processed correctly for best yield and quality results.
Sowing good quality seeds leads to lower seed rate, better emergence (>70%), more uniformity, less replanting, and vigorous early growth which helps to increase resistance to insects and diseases, and decrease weeds. As a result, yield can increase by 5−20%.
While different countries have different standards for seed quality the following factors are used to classify rice seeds:
Good seed is pure, from a single variety.
Varietal purity tests include looking for percentage of (1) germination, (2) other mixed in varieties, (3) weed seeds and other crop seeds, (4) inert material (stones, soil, etc.), (5) red rice seeds, and (6) moisture content.
Seed size, plumpness, and/or fullness are generally desirable seed characteristics. These indicate that the seed can potentially produce vigorous seedlings under favorable conditions.
How to obtain good seed
- Buy certified seed that is pure and labeled
- Get farmer-produced good seed, or
- Select your own good seed
High quality seeds are free from weed seeds, seed-borne diseases, insects, pathogens, and other extraneous matter. They should also be free from various types of mechanical injury that reduce germination and seedling vigor.
In case of infected or low quality seeds, treatments can be done.