What makes most farmers fail is not lack of capital or labor but their inability to attest to the viability of the seed they planted. Seed viability test is very important in the cultivation of crops; you need to know how efficient and productive your seeds are before planting. This is part of the pre-planting operations a farmer must carry out before cultivation. However, most farmers boycott this operation in the quest to reduce or minimize the cost of production.
Seeds are living things and tend to die off after a long period. Seeds undergo a period of dormancy when stored; the ability of a seed to resume growth after the period of dormancy is called viability, thus, a seed that germinates after storage for some period is called a viable seed.
Unlike humans, seeds do not show any physical sign of death or when they are not viable, in other words, you cannot recognize a viable seed and nonviable seeds. Only seed viability test can give you the answer to this. So what is seed viability test and how is it carried out?
Seed viability test is the test carried out on seeds prior to planting to ascertain the possibility of the seed’s growth. It is simple to determine if the seed will resume growth after a period of dormancy. The advantage of seed viability test is that it prevents the waste of resources and time. It can be carried out in three (3) ways; these are the common methods of testing the viability of seeds. They are:
This is the simplest method of carrying out seed viability test. In this method, the seeds are poured into water and allowed to settle for about 30 minutes. After this period, some seeds sink while some float. The sinking ones are the viable once, that is, the good seeds, while the floating ones are the dead seeds. Hence, the floating ones are poured out while the ones that sank are fit for planting.
This is like normal planting. Parts of the seeds to be planted are selected at random and planted. After some days, the planted seeds are inspected to determine the growth rate of these seeds. In the end, the good seeds germinate and the bad ones do not germinate. This test takes about 10 days.
The aforementioned methods are regarded as organic method of determining the viability of a seed. The chemical method is very effective and does not require much time like the germination test. It involves the use of a chemical known as Tetrazolium; this chemical is poured on the seeds and the change in color of the seeds is observed.
If the seeds turn reddish, it means the seeds are viable and can germinate but if no reaction is observed, it means the seeds are dead and will not germinate. The seeds can be washed and planted immediately.
These are simple ways to determine if a seed is viable or not. Farmers must ensure they determine the viability of their seed, irrespective of the source of the seed. It helps to secure the investment and assure the farmer of good return.
Hit share button!