How to produce good seed
Ten steps for farmers to produce their own good seed
- Select a fertile field.
- Use clean, good quality seed.
- Plow, puddle and level the field well to control weeds and improve water management.
- If transplanting, plant young (15−20 d) seedlings from a healthy, weed-free nursery at two per hill at 22.5 cm x 22.5 cm spacing.
- Apply balanced nutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sulfur, and Zinc) as per crop demand.
- Keep the crop free of weeds, insect pests and diseases.
- At maximum tillering and flowering, rogue off-types (by plant height, appearance, flowering time, etc.) and poor, diseased or insect damaged plants, or plants with discolored panicles.
- Harvest at full maturity and 20−25% moisture content (80−85% of the grains are straw-colored).
- Thresh, clean, dry (12−14% moisture content), grade and label the harvested seed.
- Store the labeled seed in sealed clean containers placed in a cool, dry, and clean area.
Winnowing to get good seed
Harvested seed includes seed of varying sizes and non-seed matter (e.g., weeds and trash). Full plump (heavier) seed can be selected by winnowing with natural wind or an electric fan.
Procedure: Pour seed slowly from a height of 1−1.5 m.
Repeat winnowing, if necessary. Select heavier seed closer to the side from which the wind blows. This procedure will also remove lighter weed seed and non-seed matter.