Quality of Farm Saved Maize (Zea mays l.) Seeds and its Effect on Field Establishment
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- Emergence, Maize, Seed Health, Seed Quality, Seed Sources
- Mutundi, Alfred N.; Muthomi, James W.; Olubayo, Florence M.; Leley, Philip K.; Nzuve, Felista M.
- Farmer saved seed consist of inappropriate varieties, infected seeds of poor germination potential resulting in low seedling vigor, crop stand and high incidence of diseases leading to poor yield. The study was conducted to determine the quality of farm saved maize seeds and its effect on field establishment. Maize seed samples were collected from farmers, local market, agro vet shops and major seed distributors in two agro ecological zones in Busia County. The seed samples were analyzed for physical purity, germination, and vigor and seed health. Germination was determined by paper towel method while seed health test was conducted using agar plate method. Samples were subjected to field experiment at Kakamega and Busia Counties for field establishment and off-types evaluation. The purity of the seed from the various seed sources was below the 99% legislated limit but the seeds met the recommended standard of 90% germination. Farmer saved seed was contaminated with diseases pathogens mainly Fusarium sp, Aspergillus sp, and Penicillium sp by up to 70.9%. Landrace panadol from local markets had the highest emergence rate. Farmer saved and local market seeds are of poor quality with high off type crops though they had high field establishment. Therefore, Farmer should be encouraged to use certified or improved seeds to enhance crop productivity. Agro dealer should adhere to seed regulation to maintain seed quality, especially on storage conditions
Full text: IJRAS_730_FINAL.pdf