Things to consider when buying seed

23 December 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Seeds are an essential input resource that farmers must procure to successfully grow crops.

Agribank’s technical advisor for crops and poultry, Hanks Saisai says that when one is to buy seeds, there are key considerations that must be kept in mind.

According to him the first factor one must consider is the cultivar of the specific crop one intends to grow.

“By definition, a cultivar is a type of plant that people have bred for desired traits. These are reproduced in each new generation by methods such as grafting, tissue culture or carefully controlled seed production.”

For instance, if a farmer chooses to grow maize there are many cultivars on the market to choose from.

“To this end, it is always advisable for the farmer to buy a maize cultivar that suits their local weather conditions. Such conditions range from sporadic rainfall, drought and occasional overcast conditions that may have a significant effect on the growth rate of crops.”

Sowing

Secondly, he says that a crop farmer should understand the importance of knowing the right season in which the seeds are to be sown to achieve optimum germination.

He says the third aspect to consider, whih is also indicated on the back of most seed packets, is the ideal growing condition for the specific cultivar.

“Most seeds will indicate whether to grow them directly under full sunlight, semi-shade or under shade net conditions for good growth rates.”

A fourth consideration, according to Saisai, is the sowing method a farmer will use to ensure that the seeds germinate into seedlings that grow into mature crops.

Seeds can be sown in seed trays and later transplanted into seedbeds, or directly into the seedbeds until the crops are harvested.

Another consideration is the spacing recommendations for growing crops. Under the spacing parameters, one must know the recommended sowing depth for each crop at the time of sowing the seeds, says Saisai.

Irrigation

“Furthermore, one must consider that after sowing seeds it is important to keep the crop field or seedbeds moist by irrigating daily.”

Moreover, the farmer must know that after sowing the seeds will germinate and emerge after 7 to 14 days, as indicated on most seed packs.

Finally, Saisai says that a farmer who grows crops must keep in mind the importance of the growing period and this is indicated on the seed pack.

“Success with crop production relies on numerous factors. However, from a management point of view, a farmer must be familiar with the different considerations that are to be taken into account at the start of each growing season until the harvesting stage to achieve success in their crop venture.”

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