BRBN has created/strengthened infrastructure facilities for production and distribution of quality seeds. BRBN studies the principles that underlie the physiology of seed development in various crops.
The objectives are:
(i) to discover general indicators for optimal crop husbandry,
(ii) to ensure a high yield and high quality, and
(iii) to assess the period when the seed is most vital and ready to be harvested.
This knowledge benefits farmers who produce their own seed, as well as seed growers listed with the BRBN.
Our seed quality program comprises a Seed Testing Laboratory, Pre and Post Control Plots, Seed Production Areas or Contract Seed Growers, Field Inspection activities, Seed processing activities/operations, Seed storage, Seed treatment and reconditioning.
1. Seed Testing Laboratory – This tests physical purities, determines moisture content, content, weight and number of weed seeds and other crop seeds, tests for seed germination samples which have been drawn by competent laboratory staff.
(i) Physical Purity: This is to assess by weight the amount of the pure portion in a seed sample. This is important, as it is the pure portion that contains the seed embryo. Other portions in a sample are weed seeds, seeds of other varieties, stones and dust. The other portions of the seeds can be deliberately mixed with the seeds or be there unintentionally.
(ii) Moisture Content: Any seed is required to contain a certain amount of moisture for its embryo to survive and not to germinate before it is required. Excess moisture/water in a seed, makes the seed to germinate before it is required. The assessment of water in seeds is done by the competent staff of seed testing laboratory.
(iii) Weed Seeds: Some weeds are prohibited / restricted in seeds. Our seed testing laboratory therefore assess by weight and number, prohibited and restricted seeds in a seed sample.
(iv) Other Variety Seeds: Our seed testing laboratory assess by weight amount of seeds of other varieties, mixed in a sample. This is important to alert the supplier/seller that she/he is selling seeds of other varieties, a practice which is not acceptable.
(v) Inert Matter: Stones, sand, soil, pieces of broken seeds and chaff are known to be life-less or inert. They can, intentionally/ unintentionally be mixed with seeds. Quality Control Laboratory assesses by weight, such inert matter which is not acceptable in business.
2. Pre-Post Control Plots: This is an outdoor Seed Testing Laboratory – test for varietal/genetic purities of different kinds of seeds. Visual assessment cannot be used to assess the genetic/varietal purity of a seed held on a hand. A seed has to be planted in plot so that during the development of its seedling it’s true appearance can be judged. If the appearance differ from what is supposed to be, then it is described as “not true to type.” Hence, the Pre-Post Control Plots are meant to assess varietal purities of different kinds of seeds. The plots also assist in determining distinctiveness, uniformity and stability (DUS) of a given variety.
3. Field Inspection: These are done by the staff of a Seed Testing Laboratory. The staff inspection seed crops being multiplied in seed Production areas against off-types, weed plants and other varieties. Field inspections are normally done before flowering, fruiting, harvesting and seed delivery stage. It is during those stages that a seed crop can be assessed as true-to-type or not true-to-type, and hence rejected or approved.
4. Seed Processing/Treatment/Storage: The seed Quality Control Program monitors the processing, treatment and storage of a locally produced seed, to ensure that the delivered seed crop is properly handled and later distributed to the end user in good condition.