Enhancement of Bean Emergence by Seed Moisturization
- Dale O. Wilson and
- Susan E. Trawatha
Small additions of moisture to bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seed prior to planting have been used to decrease seed damage and improve field performance. The objectives of this research included determination of optimum seed moisture and study of the interaction of seed moisture content with testa color (whiteness is associated with poor emergence), planting date, and irrigation timing. Pairs of bean lines near-isogenic for testa whiteness were planted 2 May and bean lines near-isogenic for testa whiteness were planted 2 May and 14 June 1988 and 11 May 1989. Prior to planting, seed was slowly adjusted to 70 and 140 g kg-1 H2O in 1988 or 80, 100, 120, 140 and 160 g kg-1 H2O in 1989. Plots were eiher pre irrigated or watered immediately after planting. Increasing seed moisture from 70 to 140 g kg-1 improved emergence by 15 to 30% when plots were watered after planting, but had no effect when the field was pre-irrigated. Likewise, moisturization improved emergence 11% at the early planting, but only 4% at the late planting. Testa whiteness, irrigation timing, and seed moisture content interacted in 1989. Emergence under pre-irrigation was 20% better than with post-irrigation with dry (80 g kg-1) seed, but in the case of colored seed only, post-irrigation resulted in 10% better emergence for the seed with 140 and 160 g kg-1 moisture. Except for this effect, seed moisture did not interact with whiteness, suggesting that inbibitional injury is not responsible for the poor performance of white-seeded lines.
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