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Corn Production Guide: How to Select High Quality Seeds

Importance of Selecting High Quality Seeds
The seed is the foundation of a good crop. The use of high quality seeds is a must in the production of high quality corn especially for commercial grains.
Low quality seeds create production problems like low population density, non-uniformity of crop stages and harvesting problems.
Guide to Seed Selection: Things to Remember
  • If you buy seeds, select certified seeds. These seeds have high percentage of germination, viability and free from weed seeds and diseases.
  • If you get seeds from your harvest, select corn ears whose kernels are well-developed and free from pests and diseases.
  • Select seeds that are high yielding, early maturing, tolerant to pests and diseases and adapted to the climatic conditions of your area.


Hybrid vs. OPV
Hybrid corn
Hybrid corn is the first generation of a cross that involves two or more inbred lines. These inbred lines are obtained within 5-7 generations of inbreeding. You will note that yields of inbred are greatly reduced because of inbreeding.
First generation hybrids yield 20-30% more than open-pollinated varieties (OPVs). Superior plant vigor and productivity are observed only during the first generation of planting.
If harvested seeds (second generation seeds) are used for next planting, resulting harvest is expected to be 40-50% lower than previous crop yield. Plants will also be less uniform in growth, height and maturity.
Open-pollinated varieties (OPVs)
Open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) of corn are grown over a long period and maintained by natural cross-pollination from generation to generation.
An OPV is usually distinguished from other varieties by its early maturity, color, shape of kernels and other agronomic characteristics.
In terms of yield, OPVs are more variable than hybrids. However, unlike hybrids, seeds of OPVs can be used over and over without significantly reducing yield levels, provided their genetic purity is maintained.
Materials:
  • Polyethylene or plastic sheet bag
  • Manila paper
  • Rubber bands
  • Corn seeds
Steps:
  1. Soak a piece of manila paper in clean water.
  2. Spread the manila paper on top of a table and scatter 100 seeds.
  3. Cover with another piece of manila paper, roll and tie both ends with rubber bands. Then dip or soak in clean water, place inside a polyethylene or plastic sheet bag and incubate at room temperature.
  4. Conduct initial evaluation after four days of incubation. Count normal seedlings and remove moldy seeds or seedling.
  5. Conduct final evaluation after seven days of incubation. Again, count normal seedlings, abnormal seedlings and dead seeds.
  6. Compute for the percentage of germination using the following formula:
% germination = Total number of normal seedlings x 100
Total number of seeds sown

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