HYBRID SEEDS/SEEDS CATALOGUE: HOW YOU CAN TURN UNDERSTANDING OF PLANT POPULATION INTO MONEY

HYBRID SEEDS

Welcome to another of our article that promised to be very enlighten. I came up with this topic against the backdrop of the fact that I see many vegetable farmers and those intending to be not having understanding of quantity of seeds they actually need to cover the area of land they want to cultivate. Also many can’t calculate plant population which makes them to either over plant or under plant the field both of which have grave consequences. This simple knowledge among others I would be sharing in this article would go a long way to determine the profit margin and losses as the case may be.

PLANT POPULATION/COST OF PRODUCTION
Plant population is one of the keys to successful vegetable farming exercise. For every area of land you are intending to cultivate, there is a specific quantity of seeds you are required to plant though this is subjected to your planting distance. The planting distance however is a subject of the season you are in. I would give a
hypothetical scenario common to our farmers to explain this. Let’s assume a farmer with good understanding of plant population required to plant 5000 plant stands per an acre, he ends up planting this population in the nursery, unfortunately, he attained 85% germination rate which left him with 4250 to be transplanted. After transplanting, he lost some stands to mechanical damage and diseases/pest attack. Eventually, he is left with 3500 stands that grow to fruiting stage from which he cash back his investment. So let look at some activities along the line that determines his profit/loss margin:
    Cost of labour for weeding
    Cost of labour for wetting and fueling if need be
    Cost of labour for spraying of chemicals
You would agree with me that for these activities, the farmer spends the same amount per acre for labour cost if he has 5000 stands as he spends on 3500 stands. This translates into the fact that the farmer is spending on 1500 plant stands that do not exist. Waste!!! This is exactly what most vegetable farmers do.
On the other hand, if the farmer over-planted the field with the aim of making more money, he ends up with lesser yield which translates into less income. This underscores the importance of plant population of a particular vegetable type. Summarily, if the plant population isn’t gotten right, the farmer ends up spending more on the cost of production.

VEGETABLE TYPES AND NUMBER OF SEEDS PER GRAM


Seeds whether hybrids or OP are often sold in gram except for some companies like Sygenta that sells in seed counts. The weight of a particular vegetable seeds varies from another as the number of seeds per gram. I would be sharing with you the average number of seeds per gram and the number of stand expected to be planted on an acre for each of the major vegetables.

Tomato

Average seeds/gram: 300 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 50 gram of seeds/15000 seeds
Spacing: 60 x 45 cm (dry season)
Summarily, it is expected that you are to plant 15000 stands on an acre during dry season with that spacing above but during raining season, it is advisable you use a more spacious spacing say 60 x 100 cm in order to ensure adequate ventilation. In addition, if you require transplanting 15000 stands for on an acre, then you are expected to nurse at least 18,000 seeds in your nursery to cater for germination percentage which is usually put between 80%-85%.


Cucumber

Average seeds/gram: 30 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 400 gram of seeds/12000 seeds
Spacing: 60 x 60 cm
Summarily, the spacing above could do for both wet and dry season provided you stake your plants. Staking increases yield no doubt and produces fruits with great market appeal. Cucumber does not require nursery but you have to make provision for those that might not germination by planting at least 15% more than the seeds you needed in an adjacent plot (Please, you need not space them as the one on the field), then transplant them to replace those that do not germinate on the field. (Note, this is applicable to all vegetables that do not require nursery and you wish to maximize plant population)

Watermelon

Average seeds/gram: 10 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 400 gram of seeds/4000 seeds
Spacing: 80 x 100 cm
Summarily, the spacing above could do for both wet and dry season both during dry season; you need to take more measures to prevent fruit rotting. Watermelon, does not require nursery but you have to make provision for those that might not germination by planting at least 15% more than the seeds you needed in an adjacent plot (Please, you need not space them as the one on the field), then transplant them to replace those that do not germinate on the field.

Sweet pepper/Egg plant

Average seeds/gram: 115 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 125 gram/14000 seeds
Spacing: 60 x 45 cm
Summarily, if you require transplanting 14000 stands for on an acre, then you are expected to nurse at least 17,000 seeds in your nursery to cater for germination percentage which is usually put between 80%-85%.

Hot pepper

Average seeds/gram: 250 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 48 gram/12000 seeds
Spacing: 60 x 45 cm
Summarily, if you require transplanting 12000 stands for on an acre, then you are expected to nurse at least 15,000 seeds in your nursery to cater for germination percentage which is usually put between 80%-85%.

Onion

Average seeds/gram: 300 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 1000 -1500 gram/390,000 seeds
Spacing: (20-30) x (5-10) cm
Onion requires nursery and also making provision for germination percentage. Please note that there are wet season onion varieties but beds most be made during wet season.

Carrot

Average seeds/gram: 1000 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 1500 gram/150,000 seeds
Spacing: 30 cm x drill

Cabbage

Average seeds/gram: 400 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 50 gram/20,000 seeds
Spacing: 45 x 45 cm

Okra

Average seeds/gram: 12 seeds
Average seeds/acre: 2500 gram/30,000 seeds
Spacing: 45 x 30 cm
Ooh! Have I not mentioned your vegetable and you wish to know more about its seed count, please contact us?

COST OF SEEDS AND SEED COMPANIES

Now that I have analyzed different seeds count above, you must have been thinking: must I buy all the seeds require to cultivate an acre? No, you don’t need to. Seeds are sold in different packs to suit your want. You have the following measurement: 1 gram pack, 2.5 gram pack, 5 gram pack, 10 gram pack, 50 gram pack, 100 gram pack and even 500 gram pack.
However, the law of economics applies, the more you buy the less you pay. A 5 gram of a particular variety of tomato seeds could sell for N 1000 while 50 gram of same sells for N 6000 instead of expected N 10, 000. If you however want to plant on a small space, it is advisable you buy smaller pack as storing of seeds especially for a relatively long period isn’t advisable.
Moreover, a company could sell its hybrid seed (let’s say 10 g) of tomato for N 4, 600 while another sells hers for N 8, 000. You might think you would go for a lesser price but I can tell you that the more expensive seeds ‘most of the time’ have better attributes. I would rather suggest you buy seeds on recommendation and or considering its attributes such as resistance to diseases and the season it is meant to be cultivated, yield potential etc.


SEEDS EXPIRING DATE

This is also as important as your money. Do you remember the germination percentage mentioned above? The closer a seed pack to its expiring date, the less likely you would get good germination percentage. That means when buying seeds, watch out for its expiring date!

Thanks for reading. Please be kind enough to leave comment below if you enjoy this article. 






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HYBRID VEGGIES : HYBRID SEEDS/SEEDS CATALOGUE: HOW YOU CAN TURN UNDERSTANDING OF PLANT POPULATION INTO MONEY
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