Production and storage of paddy seeds

USE OF high quality seed is essential for successful crop production. The seed should be genetically pure and disease free. Seed productionThe land used for paddy seed production should be one where paddy crop or nursery has not been raised in the previous season. Preferably, seed plots should be harvested, leaving a border of 3m within the field. Harvesting is to be done when the panicles are ripe with the grains hard and yellow.

Uniform ripening

In order to facilitate uniform ripening, water should be drained at least one week before harvest. Thresh sheaves on the day of harvest itself, as seeds of heaped sheaves may not perform well. Dry seeds properly and ensure that the seed moisture content is not more than 13 per cent. For sun drying spread seeds on clean dry floors or tarpaulins and turn seeds frequently for uniform drying. Over drying reduces seed viability while under drying invites mould and insect attack in storage.

Storage of seeds

Store seeds in damp-proof conditions to avoid absorption of moisture from the atmosphere Seeds should be packed in gunny bags or polythene bags. Fill up the cracks and crevices in the storeroom by cementing to make it rat proof. Spray 2 per cent malathion in the storeroom before storing the seeds.Avoid storing plant protection chemicals, weedicides and fertilizers in seed store.Store seed bags on wooden platforms or pallets providing a one-foot gap from the wall and floor for proper aeration. The number of bags in a stack should be limited to eight. Place pieces of cloth dipped in neem oil between stacked bags or neem oil cake packed in cloth bags inside seed bags to ward-off storage pests.SUNNY K. OOMMEN

College of Agriculture