Quality of Farmer-Saved Wheat Seed is Variable in the Southern Great Plains
- Jeffrey T. Edwards * and
- Eugene G. Krenzera
Profitable wheat (Triticum aestivum) production in the southern Great Plains is highly dependent on low input costs, as weather conditions are frequently not conducive for high yield. Many producers save seed from their own production for sowing the following year to reduce production costs, and some choose to purchase bin-run seed of unknown variety, although this practice has become much less common due to stricter enforcement of seed quality and protection laws. These seed sources are seldom tested for purity or germination; therefore, a three-year experiment was conducted in central Oklahoma to evaluate the purity and fecundity of farmer-saved seed sources as compared to commercially-available certified seed sources. Differences in forage and grain yield were observed among certified seed sources of the same variety, and whether or not a forage or grain yield advantage was associated with certified as compared to farmer-saved seed often depended on which certified source was used for the comparison. Certified seed sources generally contained less foreign material, fewer weed seeds, and had higher field germination percentage than farmer-saved seed. Overall, this experiment demonstrates that if farmers use quality control measures similar to those required for certified seed, farmer-saved wheat seed can produce forage and grain yield comparable to that of certified seed.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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