Treatment of seed includes the application of chemicals to the seeds. The purpose of involving chemical is to provide the seeds anti-fungicidal, insecticidal, bactericidal, and nematocidal properties.
It is such an incredible thing to sow a seed in the ground and after a few weeks you come back to see a fully grown plant. But sometimes, nature requires a little effort that is why seeds are treated with chemicals.
The treatment does not only involve chemicals, there are also other chemical, mechanical and electrical treatment methods which are designed to make sowing, germination and yielding easier and faster.
In this article, we will describe why seeds are treated before sowing, so if you are interested to know its benefits, read the article till the end.
Methods Of Seed Treatment
Given below are some of the types of treatment of seeds:
When seeds are in small number they can be scorched by cutting each seed by knife or rubbing them by sandpaper. And when the seeds are in large quantity, they can be crushed with sand or rubbed against a hard surface. In this way, the germination of seeds is improved and they grow at a faster rate.
While seeds are mechanically treated for tests, the layer of the seed is removed and they are washed before continuing any further test. There are also machines which are used for various parts of mechanical treatment of seed process. These include air screen cleaners which are used to separate the seeds by shape, size, and density.
This treatment involves the seeds which are soaked in hot water for a couple of days. During this, the temperature is precisely controlled between 115 ºF and 125 ºF. The duration of treatment can vary and it is used to improve the germination and to enhance the imbibitions of seeds.
Hot water seed treatment is a good consideration for the small level i.e. home growers as it is a cheap method. It is good to plant the seed such as pepper, tomato, broccoli, cabbage, turnip, and kale, etc.
Dry Heat Treatment
This method involves the dry heat of the temperature 60 to 80 ºC or 140 to 176 ºF is exerted to the seeds for 24 hours with an objective to improve the germination. But, an extreme caution is requisite as too much temperature can damage the seeds.
In this treatment, the seeds are soaked in absolute ethyl alcohol for 12 hours. Some seeds are soaked for 15 to 30 minutes in sulphuric acid. The main purpose to do so is to soften the layer of seeds and to increase germination. This process is usually used for insecticides and fungicides.
Protecting the seed with a chemical also prevents the pest from chewing them. This treatment is also controversial in most of the countries because of the chemicals used in this process are banned there.
In this treatment, the seeds are exposed to radio frequency di-electric heating along with electromagnetic fields to increase the germination rate and to yield crops quickly.
Causes For Treating Seeds
There are several advantages of treating the seeds before sowing, some of them are:
Seed treatment can control many specific diseases which are carried out by seed and soil. For the treatment of seed, organomercurial compounds are used or sometimes fungicides like captain, agrosan, and cereson are also used for keeping the paddy blast under control.
A disease can ruin your entire crop yielding for the year which means a loss of investment. Not only this, a disease can also damage the soil and can cause even more damage. That is why seed treatment is a preventive step against the diseases to grow the chances of best yield.
Makes Sowing Easy
There are some seeds who possess certain characteristics due to which their sowing becomes a little bit difficult such as seeds like cotton seeds, fuzz of coriander seeds, tiny seeds of ragi, chili and bajra.
For example, the coriander seeds require to be split by rubbing against a stiff surface. Also, the seeds of chili, sesame, and bajra need to be mixed with soil to make sowing simpler.
Facilitates Quick Germination
Some seeds possess a very thick cover due to which the germination of seeds takes a very long time. That is why during the treatment, such seeds are combined with gritty coarse sand and then crashed in a mortar to break the thick cover.
Some seeds like paddy seeds or cotton seeds are also soaked in water before they are being sowed while Lucerne and indigo seeds are crushed with a pestle. Due to this treatment, the germination of seeds become quicker and crops yield faster.
Protects Seeds Against Insects & Pests
There are some insects and pests like ants are present in the soil which can attack the seeds as a part of their food. Sometimes, after sowing, birds also pick the seeds. This thing can be efficiently dodged by treating the seed with some repellents like camphor, kerosene and some insecticides like BHC and heptachlor.
The better chances of germination and increased yield means that even if you spent money on the treatment of seeds, you know that in the end, you will get a better profit. In the long run, you will save the money by the treatment of seeds. It also generates an industry that can be best for employment.
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