Tropical Grasslands (2001) Volume 35, 19–25

Method and time of establishing Paspalum atratum seed crops in Thailand

M.D. HARE, C. KAEWKUNYA, P. TATSAPONG, K. WONGPICHET, K. THUMMASAENG and W. SURIYAJANTRATONG

Faculty of Agriculture, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

Abstract

Seed crops of Paspalum atratum cv. Ubon established by sowing seed produced no seed at all in the first year of establishment in Thailand. By comparison, seed crops planted with tillers at the beginning of the wet season in May produced 132 kg/ha seed 5 months after planting in one trial and 330 kg/ha seed in a second trial. In the second trial, delay in planting tillers until June and July severely reduced seed yields from a high of 330 kg/ha when planted in early May to a low of 25 kg/ha when planted in mid-July. Inflorescences/m2 and seeds/inflorescence had the greatest effect on seed yield.
Twenty village farmers in a small, seed production project successfully harvested 1834 and 2207 kg of Ubon paspalum seed in 1998 and 1999, respectively. The method of hand knocking mature seed from seed heads into bags every day enabled farmers to harvest mean seed yields of 632 and 651 kg/ha in 1998 and 1999, respectively. This harvesting method, combined with slow drying in the shade and thorough cleaning, produced seed of a very high quality with a thousand-seed weight of 3.1 g, a seed purity of more than 99% and a germination of 81% in 1998-harvested seed and 91% in 1999-harvested seed after 5 months post-harvest storage.

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