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Seed Treatment

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Rural Technology

Seeds of many crops after procurement can be sown in the field straight away but others may need some treatment before sowing. This may be with some specific objectives as mentioned below:

I) Control of disease:

- Cotton and groundnut seeds are treated with mercuric compounds for control of seed borne fungi. Paddy seed is treated with organo mercurial fungicide like Agrosan to safeguard against blast disease. Bajri seed is dipped in 20% brine solution for removing the fungi causing ergot disease.

II) Convenience in sowing:-

Cotton seed is rubbed with thick cow dung slurry and dried before sowing so that fibres do not entangle with one another. Cotton seeds is also treated with sulphuric acid to remove the fuzz altogether. Coriander seed is split under slight pressure for even germination. Very small seeds e.g. bajri, ragi or tobacco are mixed with fine sand, ash or fine earth for obtaining an even stand of the crop.

III) Quicker germination: -

Indigo and Lucerne seeds having hard seed coat may be lightly pounded with a wooden pestle. Paddy and cotton seed may be soaked in plain water for a few hours to hasten their germination.

IV) Protection against white ants:-

Some seeds of vegetable crops may be treated with some kind of repellent material like camphor or kerosene so that the strong smell will keep the white ants away.

V) Protection against insect pests: -

10 E.C. endrin (without water) is sometimes sprayed on CSH 1 hybrid Jowar seed just before sowing, so that some of the insects which eat the treated seeds will die and further damage will be reduced.

VI) Increased nitrogen fixation by legumes:

- Seeds of soyabean, berseem and groundnut may be treated with slurry containing suitable Rhizoibial culture for better nodulation and increased nitrogen fixation.

VII) Inducing earliness: -

By giving vernalization treatment to the seed the maturity period of a long duration crop is shortened. In this process, the seed is soaked in water and incipient germination is induced in the form of awakening of the dormant embryo and commencing the changes favouring germination in the endosperm. After this stage, the seeds are put in cold storage for periods varying with different kinds of seeds, so that their germination power remains intact but only the process of germination is temporarily halted. Thus the plants spend part of the vegetative period or phase in the form of sprouted seed and seed so treated is as if a dormant plant. The period from sowing to flowering is thus greatly reduced and with such suitable adjustment a long duration variety can be made to flower early. This method is useful to plant breeders and not for ordinary cultivators.

VIII) Inducing variation: -

For inducing variation in its original morphological and general structure of seed, plant breeders give X-ray treatment to the seeds e.g. Production of sharbati Sonora wheat which is a mutant isolated form gamma ray treated material of Sonora 64, having all the good characters of Sonora and in addition an amber coloured grain instead of red colored one of Sonora 64 and more protein and lysine percentage in the grains. Seeds and cuttings are treated with chemicals like colchine, gibbralic acid indole actic acid, seradix as growth promoting substances (hormones). Similarly chemicals like thio urea are used for breaking the dormancy of seed potato tubers and making them fit for planting. Treatment with maleic hydrazide is recommended for stopping the growth of sprouts from potato tubers and there by reducing losses due to sprouting.

Intext Questions

Match the followings: A B 1. Paddy Seed I. Kerosene 2. Cotton seed II. Hard seed coat 3. Lucerne seed III. Agrosan 4. Vegetable crop seeds IV. Endrin 5. Hybrid Jowar V. Sulphuric acid

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