STORAGE

The main objective of seed storage is to maintain high seed germination and vigour from harvest until planting.

STAGES OF STORAGE

The seeds are considered to be in storage from the moment they reach physiological maturity until they germinate. Thus, the entire storage period can be divided as follows :

GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND MEASURES

SEED MOISTURE CONTENT AND SEED STORABILITY

The role of moisture in the life of a seed is as follows :

Seed Moisture Content Effect on Seed
35-80% Moisture content of developing seed, seed not mature enough for harvest.
18-40% Seed physiologically mature; respiratory rate high; seed susceptible to field deterioration; heating occurs if seed bulked without adequate ventillation; molds and insects very active; seed susceptible to mechanical damage in harvesting and handling.
13-18% Respiratory rate still high; can get heating at higher levels; molds and insects can be damaging; seed resistant to mechanical damage.
10-13% Seed store reasonable well for 6 to 18 months in open storage in temperate climates; insects can still be a problem in susceptible seed; seed susceptible to mechanical damage.
8-10% Seed sufficiently dry for 1 to 3 years open storage in temperate climates; very little insect activity; seed very sus­ceptible to mechanical damage.
4-8% Safe moisture content for sealed storage.
0-4% Extreme dessication can be damaging to seed; hardness develops in some kinds of seed.
33-60% Seed germinate when they imbibe water to these levels.

The rate of deterioration of crop seed in storage increases as seed moisture content increases.

Mature seed are hygroscopic. Their moisture content will vary with the relative humidity of the atmosphere, although not as quickly as changes occur in atmospheric relative humidity. Mois­ture absorption or description of seed is a relatively slow proc­ess.

Equilibrium moisture content varies among different kinds of seed. In general, the equilibrium moisture content of oily seed is lower than that of starchy seed at the same relative humidity and temperature.

While both seed moisture content and temperature are important factors in seed storage, moisture content has greater direct influence on seed longevity. Very dry seed will store well at temperatures up to 90o F.

Good storage conditions are achieved when percent relative humid­ity plus storage temperature in degrees Fahrenheit add up to no more than 100. However,

A ONE (1) PERCENT DECREASE IN MOISTURE CONTENT NEARLY DOUBLES STORAGE POTENTIAL OF SEED; and

A TEN (10) DEGREE DECREASE IN TEMPERATURE NEARLY DOUBLES STORAGE POTENTIAL OF SEED.

STACKING

For stacking of the seed RSSCA has issued general instructions which are :

Last Updated on : 17/09/2016
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