Quality seed is one of the basic major requirements for a successful cropping, good yield, quality produce and profits. Therefore, the need for particular attention in quality crop seed acquisition by every farmer.
In the broader sense and for the purpose of this post, we consider a seed is a material which is used for planting or regeneration purpose, as defined by Agriquest. By this, we refer to both crops seeds and vegetative materials we use to plant eg. cassava stick, ginger materials, plantain suckers, maize seeds etc. The factors we discuss in this post pertains to the selection of these materials used for planting and regeneration purposes.
Factors in Quality Crop Seed Acquisition.
1. Yield Potential
The yield of a crop is measured per unit area of cultivated area eg. 10 t/ha. Most farmers would first consider the yield of a particular seed before an acquisition. Of course, it is important to consider because it very much will determine the profitability of their farms. If information on yield is not available, probe to have an idea so you can make a good decision. All things being equal, choose seeds with high yield.
2. Cost of Seed
Affordability of seed is also an important factor to consider in quality crop seed acquisitions. Simply, farmers look for seeds within the limits of their budget. Relative to other factors, there may be some indirect costs to the seeds which are considered. These costs maybe; seed handling and transportation, seed preparation, seed dressing, germination tests etc. These are factors that can affect or determine the quality of the seed before planting.
3. Return on investment
Return on Investment (ROI) is a performance measure, used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or compare the efficiency of a number of different investments – (Investopedia).
ROI = Net Profit / Cost of Investment
In other words, ROI compares the extent of profit relative to how much you have invested. In quality crop seed acquisition, this consideration will help you select seeds based on their ROI. For example, seeds of crops may require irrigation, high fertilizer application and very intolerant in weeds. This will require much more investment compared to one that is drought and weeds tolerant. The final determinant will be the yield. Compare yield and price of produce to determine the ROI. Then the final decision.
4. Disease resistance
Seeds with a characteristic feature of disease resistance are always prefered to one which is not. Crop diseases may cause devastating losses to the farmer. This makes them always desirable of seeds that do not yield to crops diseases. In the light of this, many breeders of seeds consider that too as an important feature and they try to, as much a possible incorporate that feature in seeds. Seeds that are resistant to diseases will help reduce risks and losses in cropping.
5. Consumer preference
Quality seed must have high consumer preference. There varying characteristics and usability of the produce from seeds. You must choose seeds based on some of these features that consumers prefer. This translates into high profits or higher ROI.
Obviously, a prefered characteristic of a quality is it’s adaptability to the existing soil and climatic conditions. Some seeds thrive over wider zones of varying conditions. Some will survive high temperatures and low humidity and also do well in areas of relatively high humidities. On the contrary, there are others that suit specific areas and climatic zones. You have to be sure of your seeds adaptability to your area before the acquisition.
Some seeds may possess one or most of these qualities. It is complicated when you cannot find most or all prefered characteristics in a particular seed.