Seed quality effects on seedling emergence, plant stand establishment and grain yield in two-row barley




Seed viability and vigour play important roles in seedling emergence, plant stand establishment and yield potential. The majority of cereal fields in Finland are typically sown with farm saved seed (FSS). If the quality of the seed is not known, there can be insidious yield reduction. This research was conducted to study the effects of seed quality on seedling emergence rate, seedling number and yielding capacity. The study comprised three-year field experiments conducted during 20072009, established at three sites: Jokioinen, Nousiainen and Ylistaro. Spring barley cultivars Saana (2007) and Annabell (2008-2009) were sown at rate of 500 germinating seeds m-2. Five seed lots were included as treatments: farm saved seed (FSS); downgraded seed <2.5 mm (FSS<2.5 mm); upgraded seed >2.7 mm (FSS>2.7 mm); upgraded seed >2.7 mm with disinfection (FSS>2.7 mm + dis); and commercial certified seed with disinfection (CCS). Up- and down-graded seed lots (FSS<2.5 mm, FSS>2.7 mm, and FSS>2.7 mm + dis) all originated from the FSS. Seedling emergence rate was measured from the time when coleoptiles started to break through the soil surface. The number of seedlings (3 × 1 m row per plot) was recorded at five-day intervals four times from the same rows. Plots were harvested at physiological maturity and grain yield (kg ha-1), hectolitre weight (HLW, kg) single grain weight (SGW, mg) and grain protein content (%) were recorded. Seed lots of CCS and FSS>2.7 mm + dis enhanced seedling emergence rate and increased the number of plants compared with other treatments. These two seed lots also produced the highest grain yield and had the lowest grain protein. Seed quality had an apparent effect on plant stand establishment and grain yield. A seed lot effect was evident despite identical targeted sowing rates that took into account germination rate and seed weight. Therefore, differences in seedling emergence and yielding capacity were likely outcomes of variation in seed vigour among the five treatments.;


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How to Cite

RAJALA, A., NISKANEN, M., & ISOLAHTI, M. (2011). Seed quality effects on seedling emergence, plant stand establishment and grain yield in two-row barley. Agricultural and Food Science, 20(3), 228–234.