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Harvesting sugar-beet seed

  • P. C. Longden (a1)

Summary

Comparisons of the effects of harvesting sugar-beet seed by the traditional method of tripodding with barn drying, swathing followed by threshing with a pick-up combine or desiccation with diquat followed by direct combine harvesting showed that there were no consistent or large effects on seed yield, germination, monogermity or size distribution. Thus the best method will be the one which is easiest and/or cheapest, which at present is swathing followed by pick-up combine threshing.

Sprays of NAA or 2,4,5-T at 10 or 100 mg a.i./l water before or after flowering had no effect on seed yield or germination and efforts to restrict the loss by shedding of large viable seed failed. Neither chemical decreased germination percentage by setting parthenocarpic seed. Attempts were made to dwarf the 2 m high seed crop to make it suitable for direct combine harvesting. Daminozide sprayed at 1000, 5000 or 10000 mg a.i./l water before or after the winter did not affect plant height, seed yield, germination, monogermity or size distribution. Chlormequat chloride applied similarly dwarfed plants by up to 18% but this was not enough to give a crop less than 1 m high suitable for direct combine harvesting. It did not affect seed yield, germination, monogermity or size distribution. Ethephon sprayed at 10, 100 or 1000 mg a.i./l water when plants were bolting had no detected effects. Chlorflurecolmethyl was sprayed at 10 or 100 before bolting or 1, 10 or 100 mg a.i./l water afterwards. Plants sprayed with the 100 mg/1 solution were dwarfed to less than 1 m high but the treatment was unsuccessful because it greatly reduced seed yield and germination; monogermity was not affected but a much greater proportion of seed fell into the small size grades.

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Austin, R. B. & Longden, P. C. (1966). The effects of manurial treatments on the yield and quality of carrot seed. Journal of Horticultural Science 41, 361–70.
Austin, R. B. & Longden, P. C. (1968). The yield and quality of red beet seed as affected by desiccant sprays and harvest date. Weed Research 8, 336–45.
Hull, R. & Scott, R. K. (1969). A comparison of methods of growing sugar-beet seed. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 72, 109–17.
Longden, P. C. (1969). A machine for rubbing small samples of sugar-beet fruit. Journal of the International Institute for Sugar Beet Research 4, 160–8.
Longden, P. C. (1972). Monogerm sugar-beet seed production experiments. Journal of Agricultural Science. Cambridge 78, 497503.
Longden, P. C. & Scott, R. K. (1973). Growing sugar beet for seed in England. A.D.A.S. Quarterly Review 9, 1023.
Longden, P. C. & Johnson, M. G. (1974). Predicting sugar-beet seedling emergence in the field. Seed Science and Technology (in the Press).
Scott, R. K. (1969). The effect of sowing and harvesting dates, plant populations and fertilisers on seed yields and quality of direct drilled sugar-beet seed crops. Journal of Agricultural Science, Cambridge 73, 373–85.
Sneddon, J. L. (1963). Sugar-beet seed production experiments. Journal of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany 9, 333–45.

Harvesting sugar-beet seed

  • P. C. Longden (a1)

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