Vegetable Seed Industry Scenario: Global and Pakistan

Vegetable Seed Industry Scenario

Agricultural production is an very important issue for the life of human race and seed is a vital input for agriculture. Vegetable seeds are the fastest growing category within the total seeds marketplace. Vegetables play a key position in offering an affordable balanced nutrition. Globally, vegetable seeds marketplace has grown reliably over the last five years as a result of emerging international inhabitants, increasing heart elegance, and transferring consuming conduct with growing intake of green greens within the diet.

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Governments of different countries are specializing in vegetable seed business via investing in biotechnology and related researches. Seed companies are investing increasingly more in software of biotechnological tools in crop growth. Conventional procedures are being replaced by fashionable breeding techniques like anther tradition, markers assisted selection and molecular breeding.

Seed is the in the beginning vital provider for a success vegetable cultivation. Vegetable seed business goes vastly annually. Several private seed corporations with multinational base are actively involving in vegetable seed manufacturing making the general public sector much lagging in the back of. Expanding areas underneath vegetable cultivation, varied agro-climatic conditions, availability of enormous and cheap human useful resource are creating titanic scope for building of vegetable seed business. Vegetable seed industry has positive affect on nationwide economy with regards to income and employment generation and earning foreign currencies in global marketplace. There are few constraints like excessive value of seed manufacturing, technical problems and stringent laws set spoil to the vegetable seed trade

Seed business is the start point of agriculture, being a fundamental and strategic trade which involves agricultural manufacturing capacity, build up farmer’s income, and assurance of food safety, national economy and people’s livelihood. Since the founding of the first seed company, the arena seed trade has evolved for 270 years. Globally talking, seed industry has grown from the past labor-intensive, management-extensive and capital-decentralized form into a modern business.

Overview of global seed marketplace:

According to ISF and trade guide record, the global seed market worth increased from the $12 billion in 1975 to the $53.eight billion in 2014, which is three.5 times expansion during the last 40 years. In the 5 years ahead, the worldwide seed market is predicted to maintain speedy enlargement.

With the ongoing development of biological era, global genetically modified (GM) crop planting continues to grow. Genetically changed plants have prime yield, extensive adaptability, less reliance on chemical pesticide and better diet price, commercial genetically changed seed market has grown often since 1996. The genetically modified seed marketplace value went up from the $7.8 billion in 2007 up to the $14.8 billion in 2014 with enlargement charge 90%. The genetically modified seed marketplace proportion also increased hastily, from 25% upto33%.
Global statistics suggests that seed marketplace of North America ranked No.1 with marketplace worth of $17.6 billion and market percentage of 32%; Asia Pacific ranked No.2 with market value of $16.five billion and market percentage of 31% which could be very as regards to North America, adopted via Europe ($9.7 billion and 18%) and Latin America ($four.7 billion and nine%).

If we acknowledge in regards to the best 10 seed firms worldwide, which might be Monsanto (U.S), Dupont (U.S), Syngenta (Switzerland), Groupe, Limagrain (France), Land o Lake (U.S), KWS AG (Germany), Bayer Crop Science (Germany), Dow Agro Sciences (U.S), Sakata (Japan), DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) from all above Monsanto (U.S) is most sensible ranked which covers over the 16% global market share and ranked at most sensible with the sale of seed 10.76 billion US$. Total industry of those best 10 firms has roughly 38 billion(US$), which is a exceptional proportion of the global financial system in addition to describing national state of affairs of the complex nations in focusing the new techniques of the seed production and their new pattern in advertising and marketing as neatly. Besides these best 10 firms there are different seed companies which have proportion of 43% with the production of 231.three billion (US$).

Country Statistics suggests that the highest 10 ranked countries are US, China, France, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Germany, Argentina and Italy. The general marketplace worth of the highest 10 quantities to $41.9 billion accounting for 78% of the world overall, which shows a high level of centralization of planting space. The conventional North American marketplace and the rising Asia Pacific marketplace are developing in parallel.


Multinational’s building technique:

Since the founding of the first seed corporate Vilmorin in 1743 (now affiliated to Limagrain), world well-known seed corporations were based one after any other over the last 100 years. In the 1990’s of remaining century, the issue of intellectual assets rights endured to increase to crossbreeding sector. Large-scale groups have participated in mergers of seed business players, resulting in lots of union and achievement actions, resulting in formation of a number of highly-developed multinational seed enterprises, who are mostly situated in developed nations where seed trade started earlier with higher economic level like the United States, Netherland, Germany, France, Japan, UK, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden. Later Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow Agro Sciences, based upon traditional crossbreeding, have additional applied biological generation to reproduce GM single trait and multiple trait varieties to consolidate their monopoly place in the business, having step by step pulled forward from other seed firms.
The 2014 top 10 world seed firms display that companies who’ve invested in GM trait field captures better market percentage and takes an advance alternative of seed building at some point, that are represented by Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow Agro Sciences and Bayer Crop Science.

Future seed business building:

Seed call for continues to grow, Genetic sources to be various. In the longer term, the sector will enjoy world warming, lower of cultivated land, build up of inhabitants, scarcity of food, building up of biofuel capability, reduction of farmers retained seed, higher volume of commercialized seed and the various call for for crop high quality and variety. These situations will result in the next call for for seed world-wide. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that the sector food demand will probably be 1.2 billion tons in 2023, which can be 130 million heaps upper than 2011-13. While the cultivated land for coarse food grain will not build up.

Compared with cereal crop, fruit and vegetable are indispensable because of their unique vitamin. The distinction between tropic zone and temperate zone allows farmers to grow broadly other crops, fruit and vegetable.

By reviewing the advance of seed industry, it reminds that the leap forward in hybridization technology and GM era has greatly promoted the improvement of seed trade. Multinationals like Monsanto, Bayer Crop Science and Syngenta have all evolved crop types which are adaptive, top yielding, immune to insect pest, immune to adversity and herbicide, as supported by their sturdy research capability and awesome genetic resources. The overall percentage and marketplace possible of emerging marketplace are necessary driving force for the improvement of long run seed business.

Seed business in Pakistan:

The new rising, seed business is developing very speedy. More than 376 seed Companies have been registered. Due to liberal perspective in granting permission to do seed industry and free products and services of seed high quality keep watch over by way of the federal government, now 376 seed firms together with 4 public sector seed companies and five multinationals have commenced their industry in the country. Present day seed industry is a combination of private and non-private seed sector. This is called as formal seed gadget. Farmers in Pakistan additionally save their own seed and change seed with every different or purchase seed from the local traders and marketplace under the informal seed system. With the induction of private seed sector, the supply of high quality seed has increased up to 18 in keeping with cent.

The processing capability has increased from 12.24 to 35.43 according to cent. Total employment era in seed industry in step with the knowledge available up to now is 24716. The garage capacity has been increased up to 18.17% against the whole estimated seed requirement (1340719 million tonns) for all crops. It is anticipated that seed business will transform one of the vital main employment generating sector for our economy.

There are general 737 seed firms from which 137 are registered in 2014. From which more than 650 are private national based firms, 13 are multinational corporations which can be serving far and wide the world with the seed of all type having the potential of high yield. The multinational corporations that are in Pakistan are named as Monsanto, Pioneer, ICI, Syngenta and Four Brothers.

The impact of the multinational seed corporations is far resilient in Pakistan because Pakistan is an agricultural based nation and there’s a massive room for the promoting of seed of all kind due to having the multi-climate range far and wide the country all through the yr. The maximum main corporate in the world market has the similar affect in Pakistan market as well by capturing the 26% share of the whole nationwide market and from different companies Syngenta is at 2d with the share of nine.2%.

Pakistan based totally corporations which are producing the seeds of open pollinated (OP) in addition to Hybrid types. The seed of those national based totally firms having low cost and top output as compare to local seed. The seeds of the national primarily based companies fulfill the 60% want of the country because those seeds are in fewer prices as compare to the seed available of the multinational corporations. There is the list of some national based companies working in Pakistan within the competition against the multinational.

  • Haji sons
  • Sky Vegetable and Flowers Seed Company
  • More inexperienced
  • Agrico Pak
  • Ali Baba
  • Noble seeds
  • Shareef sons seeds world (Regd.)
  • Hico seeds

And a much more working in festival and fighting with the new advances. Still numerous paintings is being in improved in the vegetable seed industry, with the brand new development and lengthening the pressure of inhabitants there may be a large number of contradiction in meals and consumption need so this industry is prospering day by day with new advancements. Being a excellent market and having the best climate we are much lagged the social wish to fulfill the farmer group and we import a large number of cotton, maize in addition to the vegetable seed of tomato, potato, cucumber, chilies and onion as neatly. With the advancement of the new rising tactics similar to green house, tunnel forming and drip irrigation the farmers go for the hybrid seed on the placement of the native seed. So, with the rise in demand there may be need of the increasing the nationwide seed generating with low value and high vigor in addition to most output.

Principles and Practices of Seed Production

Flowering is a prerequisite for seed production. It starts after floral induction which provokes a  meristem to start flower bud formation (also referred to as flower initiation) after certain internal or external signals. Plant age or size and more specifically endogenous level of certain hormones are considered as internal cues; while, length of day/night and low temperature are external signals.
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Photoperiod and Temperature Requirements

These external stimuli allow synchronized flowering in a population at optimal time during a year to ensure successful pollination and seed setting before inclement weather conditions. In some conditions, two different developmental signals are required in succession, such as, two different photoperiods or low temperature treatment (vernalization), followed by certain photoperiod. Vegetables and flowering annuals vary in their vernalization and/or photoperiodic requirements to pass from juvenile (vegetative) phase to reproductive phase, which is a transitional process. For some species, vernalization (exposure to low temperature) is obligatory for flower induction and differentiation. These species are biennial and cannot start flowering without completion of their vernalization for examples, crucifers (cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, kale, and kohlrabi), carrot (European types), onion, red beet, parsnip, celery and lilium (Lilium logiflorum). In such species, vernalization and day length synergistically promote floral induction. Some obligate species such as celery, globe artichoke, and carrot, require short days during vernalization for floral induction and long days after vernalization (during flower differentiation). While, some other species have  facultative vernalization requirement and cold exposure is required just for flower induction and flower differentiation, and bolting is regulated by long days. In facultative vernalization requiring species, long days also compensate for unstable vernalization due to  very short exposure to  cold temperature. Examples of facultative species are leek, broccoli, radish, spinach, lettuce, and peas.
Usually, a temperature of 0–5°C is required to fulfill vernalization requirements of several crops. Higher vernalization temperature can results in delayed, incomplete and/or poor flowering, even de-vernalization in some species. However, summer cauliflower and broccoli can flower at 20-30°C without vernalization. Onion requires
2-13°C, temperate types vernalize at low temperature, while tropical types can vernalize at 9-13°C. Several vegetables and herbaceous (annual flowers) species respond to vernalizing temperature at certain developmental stage. Most of the crucifers can be vernalized when stem diameter is 10-15 mm. Carrot, onion, cauliflower, cabbage, coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora), gaillardia (Gaillardia × grandiflora), rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida) and tobacco must have 8-12, 4-7, 4-12,
4-15, 8, 16, 10, 37 leaves, respectively, to respond to vernalization temperature. Seeds of some crops, if exposed to low temperature during imbibition, can be vernalized, for example lettuce, turnip, spinach, Chinese cabbage, red beet, and white mustard (Sinapis alba L.). Exposure of ripening beetroot seeds (on the mother plant) to  low temperature can  also  reduce  the  vernalization requirements. Moreover, vernalization requirement (duration of exposure to low temperature) of various cultivars of a crop are different. Therefore, sowing time should be adjusted according to the vernalization requirements i.e. cultivars requiring prolonged exposure should be planted earlier than those requiring short exposure time.
Vernalization response is common in winter annuals and biennials. Summer vegetable crops and summer annuals (flowers) usually require long days. Cucurbits are long day plants but, long days and high temperature promote production of staminate flowers and mild temperature and relatively short days promote gynoecy (femaleness). Flowering in short day plants, the native of low latitude on both sides of the equator, starts when day length is less than a particular critical time. Amaranth (African spinach), chrysanthemum, and poinsettia are short day plants.
Some vegetables like eggplant, tomato, cucumber and watermelon do not have specific day length requirement for flower initiation. Although cucumber is day insensitive but, long days promotes maleness and short days favour gynoecy (femaleness). Similarly, Asiatic carrot cultivars under long day conditions behave as annual and do not require vernalization temperature. In some crops, such as radish, cultivars without vernalization and specific day length requirement flower earlier when grown under long day conditions. So, for successful seed production, one must be familiar with photoperiod and low temperature requirements of crop(s).
Other components of climate, such as irradiance and precipitation, also have significant role in flowering. Length of juvenile period can be reduced in pelargonium (Pelargonium × hortorum) by increasing the irradiance, through supplemental lighting or by providing growth promoting conditions (Armitage and Tsujita 1979).
Among other climatic requirements of flowering and seed setting is the prevalence of suitable temperature and absence of rainfall during flowering. Continuous rainfall during flowering can wash out stigmatic fluid and suppress anther dehiscence. High as well as low temperature can result in slow growth of pollen tube and/or embryo abortion. Increase in average daily temperature reduces number of flowers per inflorescence, e.g., in Pelargonium spp. Temperature during seed maturation can also affect germination. Some seeds have higher germinability when matured under higher temperature, while others showed more germination when matured at lower temperature. This effect is due to pre-conditioning effect of high or low temperature on seed development.

Pollination and Pollinating Agents

After flowering, successful pollination followed by fertilization is also necessary for seed setting. Pollination is carried out by different biotic and abiotic agents, of whom insects and wind are more important in vegetables and annual flowers. Crops vary in their pollination mode and broadly grouped into self- and cross-pollinated crops, mainly due to their flower morphology. Detail description of these groups has been given in  Chapter 3.  Here, pollination mechanisms are  not  discussed in  detail. However, it is a well-established fact that chances of cross-pollination can increase with change in locality and/or environmental conditions, due to change in population of pollinating insects. It is also worth mentioning here that most of vegetables and annual flowers are cross-pollinated, specifically insect-pollinated (entomophilous). Even in self-pollinated crops, abiotic (gravity, wind) and biotic (animals, insects) agents facilitate self-pollination. Therefore, researchers have listed a large number of insects (pollinators) species directly involved in pollination of these crops, e.g. 334 insects visited carrot and 267 insects in onion (George 2009). Among these pollinators, insect from two orders viz., Hymenoptera (bees, wasps and ants) and Diptera (flies), play very important role in seed setting of these crops. Population as well as activity of insect pollinators has direct impact on seed yield. Their population is affected by various agricultural practices such as pesticide sprays, and availability of alternate natural flora and climatic conditions (temperature, rainfall and wind speed) of the area. Seed producers must ensure adequate populations of pollinators or place artificial honeybee hives on the perimeter of seed production field after two to three days of pesticide spray (George 2009). Activity of pollinators can be enhanced by planting wind-pollinated crops, such as sweet corn, which improves microclimate. Other crops such as sunflower can also be used, but their flowering time should not coincide with flowering of the seed crop. Rainfall during flowering can also suppress or completely inhibit pollinators’ activity and thus affect seed production.

Nutritional and Irrigation Requirements

There is paucity of research on impact of fertilizer application rates on flowering and seed production of flowering annuals and also in some vegetable crops, especially the leafy vegetables. Studies regarding impact of nutrients supplied to root crops on subsequent seed yield and quality is also scarce. It is a general assumption that there is antagonism between mineral nutrient requirements for optimum vegetative growth and reproductive growth. Usually, high nitrogen application rates delay flowering and decrease seed dormancy and thus shorten the storage life of seed (Gutterman 2000). Phosphorus application at higher rates tends to increase number of flowers, while potassium has role in improving quality of seed, especially when applied in combination with nitrogen during seed/pod filling. Similarly, calcium and trace elements (especially boron) have important role in successful seed setting, germination and seed vigour (Delouche 1980). Deficiency of specific elements cause crop specific disorders and also renders the crops susceptible to diseases.
Although scientists have described critical stages of various crops, which are prone to moisture stress, yet studies regarding impact of soil moisture deficit on yield and quality of seed are also scarce. Most of the annual vegetable crops and flowering annuals are sensitive to drought/moisture stress at the time of flower initiation, during anthesis (flower opening), and fruit and seed development; anthesis being the most sensitive stage. Drought stress during seed filling decreases the germination percentage (Dornbos et al. 1989). Plants growing in soil with adequate moisture, if provided with supplemental irrigation during anthesis, propduce more number of seeds per pod (silique, fruit, capsule, etc.) of large size, and ultimately the seed yield. Supplemental irrigations are more beneficial in those crops where root activity is reduced during flowering, for example the plants of leguminosae family (Salter and Goode 1967). Biennials also respond to such supplemental irrigations. The vegetative (first season) growth of biennials is also affected by irrigation; size of vegetative organ such as curd (cauliflower), head (cabbage), or root (carrot, radish, turnip, parsnip) will remain small that will decrease flowering proportionately.
Water stress during seed maturation, particularly last 5 to 15 days, has beneficial effect because it helps to switch the seed from developing phase to germination phase and decreases or increases dormancy in several species. This switch involves changes in proteins and mRNA concentration (Kermode et al. 1989).

Isolation

One of the important characteristics of good quality seed is its genetic purity. As mentioned earlier, most of the vegetables and flowering annuals are cross-pollinated crops and there are also chances of cross-pollination even in self-pollinated crops. This demands strict control on pollination between different cultivars of the same crop, grown for seed production, so that genetically pure (true-to-type) seed of a specific cultivar can be produced. One of the approaches to produce true-to-type seeds is by isolating two or more cultivars of a crop. Isolation is not only required from crops raised for seed production but also from those grown for fresh consumption (especially the vegetables whose fruit is consumed e.g. tomato, pepper, eggplant, okra) or aesthetic beautification. Isolation can be achieved by one of the following methods.

Isolation in time:

Two cultivars of a crop are planted at different times to avoid synchronization of flowering. It is possible if two cultivars vary, to some extent, in their requirements of flowering, for example, duration of vernalization temperature in onions, carrots, cabbages, etc. Isolation by time can be easily done in areas with 
long growing season by growing one cultivar early in the season (spring) and other cultivar is sown late in the season (late summer).

Isolation by distance:

The isolation distance recommended for flowering annuals is dependent on mechanism of pollination and pollinating agent involved. There are recommendations for maintaining distance between two cultivars of a crop in cross- as well as self-pollinated crops. In self-pollinated vegetables and flowering annuals, distance between two cultivars should be 50-250 m to avoid admixture. Isolation distance in cross-pollinated vegetable crops should be 1000-1500 m. The isolation distance recommended for flowering annuals is 360 to 720 m (even up to 1000 m), depending on pollinating agent (insect or wind) involved (Reheul 1987 a, b). The isolation distance between two cultivars from the same group is less (720 to 1000 m) as compared to isolation distance in two cultivars from different groups e.g. onion groups on the basis of bulb skin colour, groups of flowering annuals within a specie on the basis of petal colour.

Isolation by caging:

This method can be practiced only for limited number of plants or on small area by breeders. Farmers can also select the outstanding plants in their field for seed production and cover these plants using screens or netted cages. However, in such cages honeybees cannot perform pollination because they keep on trying to escape from the cage rather doing pollination. Growing plants in enclosed structures such as polythene tunnels and greenhouses also provides isolation.

Isolation by zoning:

In some countries, zoning schemes are there which ensure the cultivation of a specific crop, either for market or seed crop, in a specified area. The main objective is to prohibit the cross-pollination between cross-compatible crops, for example different types of Beta species (sugar beet, red beet, Swiss chard and fodder beet), turnip, cole crops and Allium species. Zoning is more applicable for crops which start flowering during the course of development of the marketable vegetable crop.

Discard Strip Technique:

Most of the pollen contamination in insect- and wind- pollinated crops occurs around the perimeter of the seed field. Therefore, discard strip  technique can be  employed if  recommended isolation distance cannot be maintained properly. Most of the insects visiting the seed crop land on the edges/borders of the seed field. In wind pollinated crops, the concentration of pollen in the air is high on the windward side and decreases on the leeward side. Sometimes, wind is blowing from all four directions during anthesis. Under such conditions, it is advisable to remove a 5 m wide strip around the perimeter of the plot or harvest it separately. If wind is unidirectional, then 5 m wide strip should be discarded only windward side. The seed from inner area of seed field is bulked and saved. It is better to keep the seed field in square shape so that fewer seeds are produced as a result of pollen contamination and thus minimum amount of seed is discarded (George 2009).

Roguing

True-to-type seed is mandatory in seed production program. Isolation does not ensure that the seed crop of a particular cultivar, isolated properly from other cultivars, will set true-to-type seed. It is due to some variation in the parent material (seed). If such variation is not checked properly, then trueness to type (genetic purity) of an open pollinated cultivar is lost after some years. Therefore, seed crop should be inspected at various stages to ensure the removal of undesirable/off-type plants that do not match the characteristics of the cultivar. This removal of off-type plants is termed as roguing. One should observe plant growth habit, colour of foliage, flowering time, flower colour and form during roguing of annual flowers (Kwong 2005). While, colour of seedlings, colour of young leaves, shape of leaves duration of vegetative and reproductive growth, early bolters, colour, shape and size of flower/head/curd/bulb/root ,  colour and  size  of  immature and  mature fruit/pod/silique, and time of maturity should be observed during roguing in vegetable crops (George 2009).
Roguing must be performed at specific stages by skilled personnel to observe all characteristics of a seed crop discussed in previous paragraph. Sometimes, roguing cannot be performed if cultivars of a crop are not grown in locations suitable for their proper development. One such example is of heart type lettuce that does not produce heart if not grown in conditions specified by the breeder.

Crop Rotation

There should be substantial interval between plantation of one crop or its closely related species on one piece of land. It helps to prevent buildup of insect-pests and diseases of the crop(s). Crop rotation also eliminates the risk of appearance of off- type plants, if other cultivars have been cultivated during the previous growing season and some of the dormant seeds of that crop remained in the soil. It is a general recommendation that seed crop should not be grown on a land where the same crop specie was grown during the last (i) two years for fresh consumption and (ii) five years for seed crop. It is advisable to include leguminous crops in the rotation so that fertility of the soil can also be increased. Otherwise, rotate with those crop(s) which do not have common insect-pests and diseases.

Synchronization of Flowering

It has been observed during hybrid seed production of annual flowers and vegetables that flowering time of the two parents do not coincide with each other. It is common when i) parents are of distant origin, or ii) one parent is propagated by vegetative means (cuttings or tissue culture) and other is raised using seeds, as in case of annual flowers like impatiens, petunia, primula and dianthus. Planting time must be adjusted in such cases to synchronize flowering so that pollination and successful seed setting is possible. This synchronization of flowering is also termed as nicking.

Pest and Disease Management

Both, seed yield and quality are affected if insect-pests and diseases are not properly controlled. For annual flowers, potting medium, containers and growing spaces should be sterilized. Seeds and other propagules should also be sterilized using hot- water treatment or surface sterilization method. Scouting for insect-pest and diseases should be performed on daily basis. Yellow sticky cards should be hanged in greenhouse to detect the build-up of insect-pests. Use fungicides, insecticides or bactericides as per requirement.

Methods of Vegetable Seed Production

Two types of vegetable seeds are available in the market, i.e., open pollinated and hybrid seeds. Both types of vegetable seeds are usually produced under open field conditions with some exceptions where production is done in greenhouses. Vegetables are divided into two broad groups on the basis of their nature, annuals and biennials. Based on their nature, there are two seed production methods in vegetable crops namely, seed-to-seed (direct) and replanting method. In seed-to-seed method, crop (parent plant on which seed is to be produced) is raised in field, which flower and produce seed in the same field and does not require any shifting after completion of juvenile phase or before flowering. Seed of annual vegetables like, tomato, peppers, eggplant, all cucurbits, and okra is usually produced by seed-to- seed method. Seed of some biennials such as coriander, spinach, lettuce and fenugreek, is also produced by seed-to-seed method. Seed of biennial vegetables like, turnip, radish, carrot, etc. is usually produced by replanting method; seed-to-seed method can also be used but has some demerits. Replanting allows evaluation of root shape and size, root internal texture, root internal and external colour, and thus roguing can be effectively performed. In seed-to-seed method, roguing for these characteristics cannot be performed effectively. Replanting method is also effective in areas with heavy snowfall for several months. In such areas, stumps of cabbage and cauliflower, bulbs of onions and root vegetable crops are lifted from field and stored after roguing. These stored parts are replanted in field after snowfall. Replanting method is recommended for commercial production of certified seed of vegetable crops.

Methods of Seed Production in Annual Flowers

There  are  basically two  seed  production systems in  annual  flowers viz.,  open pollinated seed production in fields and hybrid seed production in greenhouses. Open pollinated seed crop is grown in open fields where genetic purity is maintained by roguing and  maintaining suitable isolation distance. France, Netherlands, USA 
California), Mexico, some eastern European countries and China are famous for open field production of annual flowers (Kwong 2005). Some African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe were also producing flower seeds in large quantities during last four decades, but production has declined due to political and social changes. For hybrid seed production, annual flowers are grown in greenhouses or at least in mesh houses, so that entry of pollinators is restricted. Emasculation and pollination is mostly done manually in these greenhouse crops. Most of the breeding companies have their greenhouses in the tropical highlands such as Guatemala, Kenya, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, where mild weather throughout the year favours seed production without much expenditure on power supply for maintaining controlled conditions. Bedding annuals, for example, geranium, impatiens, and petunia, are usually grown in these greenhouses. Greenhouse production of cool- season annuals, such as pansy, primula and cyclamen, is practiced commercially in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and France (Kwong 2005). Only seed-to-seed method is practiced in seed production of annual flowers because these do not have underground storage organs and their production is feasible in indoors and thus do not need replanting.
 
 
 

Seeds germination guide

Name Month Requirements Days for Germination Special Instruction
Antirrhinum Winter Cover the planting tray or pot with plastic (or a dome) to preserve moisture and then place it in a location with temperatures between 16 to 22 degrees celsius and bright, avoid overhead watering 10-20 days For best results, sow in compost and water from below. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Bitter Gourd Winter Sow seeds 2 cm deep. Seeds can be sown directly into the ground or in the containers, Seeds require the temperature above 70 F (20 C) for germination. 21-28 days Soaking seeds for 24 hours in water before sowing. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Brinjal (Long) F-1 Winter Eggplant seeds germinate at temps between 60-95 degrees F. (15-35 C.), eggplant seeds are tiny, sow the seeds about ¼-inch deep with good quality potting soil in flats or cell containers. Use a dome or cloche to retain heat as well as humidity to encourage germination  7 to 14 days Area to germinate them that is quite warm, 80-90 F. (26-32 C). Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Broccoli F-1 Winter Temperature required for germination is 7 C – 29.5 C. The general rule of thumb for planting seeds is to plant them twice as deep as the seed is wide. Broccoli seeds are pretty tiny, so plant them only about 1/8″ – 1/4″ deep. 7 to 14 days Water your seedling trays from the bottom so you won’t disturb the soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Bunching Onions Oct-Nov Sow thinly and cover with ¼ inch of seed starting formula. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of about 60-65 degrees F or 15.5 – 18.5 C 7 to 14 days Soil temperature affects the rate of germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cabbage   Cabbage seed germinates best when exposed to a constant temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33-21C) 7 to 14 days Cooler temperatures slow the germination process, while warmer temperatures speed it up. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Calendula Winter Maintain darkness and a soil temperature of 21°C (70°F), Calendula grows easily in any regular garden soil, and thrives in a pH range of 5.5-7.0. avoid overhead watering 7 to 14 days Plant seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.64 to 1.27 cm) deep and 4 to 6 (10.16 to 15.24 cm) apart. Cover them lightly with about 1/4 inch (.64 cm) of garden soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Callistephus chinensis Winter Germination temperature required 68-70 °F (20-21 °C), cover seed lightly with vermiculite after sowing. To prevent premature flowering, keep plants vegetative with a four hour night interruption 10 to 12 days Grow at 12-15 °C. Callistephus do not grow temperatures below 8 °C and do not tolerate frost. The lower the temperature, the better the plant habit but onset of flowering will be a little delayed. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Candytuft Umbellata Winter Requires a warm area to germinate — a temperature range of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenhe (18 – 21 C) it is ideal. 16 to 20 days Cover the seed-raising container with a piece of plastic wrap to maintain a steady humidity level. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Capsicum Winter Pepper seeds require a temperature range between 65 (18C) and 95 (35 C)degrees Fahrenheit. The optimum temperature for germination is 85 (29 C) degrees Fahrenheit. 8 to 16 days They prefer a temperature of around 20 to 25°C before they will break dormancy of the seeds and maximum seeds will germinate. Cover the planting tray or pot with plastic  to preserve moisture
Carnation Chabaud Winter Seeds can be sowed, 1/8 inch deep in a well-drained mix.Space seeds 12″ apart. Make sure the compost is moist but not wet. Firm soil over seed and mist spray occasionally and keep it moist. 7 to 14 days Water until the soil is most and then wrap the container in a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Carrot Winter Optimal soil temperature: 7-30°C (45-85°F). Carrot seeds are tiny, they need to be sown shallowly. The trick is to keep the top-most layer of soil damp during the long germination period. Water deeply prior to planting. Direct sow the tiny seeds 5mm (¼”) deep, 4 seeds per 2cm (1″), and firm soil lightly after seeding. 14 to 21 days Make sure the seeds are only just buried. Water the area with the gentlest stream you can provide, and keep it constantly moist until the seeds sprout. Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. The softer and more humus-based the soil, the better. When soil is dry enough in spring, work it to a fine texture. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cauliflower Winter Cauliflower grows best at around 60 F. (15 C.) 8 to 10 days remove the plastic after germination and keep the soil evenly moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Celery Winter Celery seeds germinate best at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 – 24 C during the day and 60 F or 15.5 Cdegrees at night. 14 to 21 days Celery seeds need consistent light waterings during germination and early emergence to keep the growing environment consistently moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cherry Tomato or Tomato Winter Best to keep temperature range 70 to 80F (21 to 27C). The lower the temperature the slower the germination. 5 to 10 days After seedlings, they will need to be moved into a good light .Light is not adequate,  get long, leggy stems shooting up which is not good.Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Chillies Dec-Jan Sow Chilli pepper seeds on the surface of a moist, free-draining, seed compost and cover with a fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place seed trays in a propagator at a temperature of 18-25C (64-77F) 7 to 10 days Use polythene to cover your seed trays. Chilli seeds need 20°C to germinate, and it should be 30°C or more for the fruit to ripen. Night temperatures should not drop below 15°C. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cockscomb Celosia Winter Soil temperature of at least 64 degrees Fahrenhe 17.7 C it is required for cockscomb seed germination. 14 to 21 days Keep germinating media moist by watering from the bottom by setting trays or pots in shallow water until moisture glistens on top. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Coreopsis grandiflora Winter Temperature required for germination is 68 to 72°F (20 to 22°C). 14 to 28 days Do not cover the seed but press into the soil, Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cornflower Winter Temperature required for germinatin is 60 to 70 F (15.5 – 21.1C) 10 to 21 days Sow seeds about 1/2 inch deep in any good garden soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cosmos bipinnatus Winter Maintaining a soil temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33C) encourages quick and even germination 14 to 21 days Cosmos require moisture and warmth to sprout. keeping the pots covered with a plastic bag conserves the soil moisture. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cucumber Winter Germination temperature: 60 F to 90 F – Do not plant until soil reaches 65 F. May germinate in 3 days at 80 F to 90 F. 3 to 10 days Cucumbers are very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted.
Dahlia Hybrid Tall Mix Winter Moisten the medium and keep moderately damp, moving the flats to a warm location of at least 70 degrees F. (21 C.). 7 to 14 days Water until the soil is most and then wrap the container in a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Dianthus barbatus Winter Temperature required for germination is 68F or 20 C 7 to 14 days Seeds must be covered thinly, Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Dianthus Chinensis Winter Temperature required for germination is 68F or 20 C 7 to 14 days Seeds must be covered thinly, Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Dill May-Aug  Optimal soil temperature for germination: 15-21°C (60-70°F). 10 to 21 days Dill seeds need some light to germinate. Sow seeds no more than 5mm (¼”) deep in rows 45cm (18″) apart. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Egg Plant (Round) F-1 Winter Eggplant seeds germinate at temps between 60-95 degrees F. (15-35 C.), eggplant seeds are tiny, sow the seeds about ¼-inch deep with good quality potting soil in flats or cell containers. Use a dome or cloche to retain heat as well as humidity to encourage germination  7 to 14 days Area to germinate them that is quite warm, 80-90 F. (26-32 C). Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Fenugreek Summer It’s grows well in warm and hot climate,  from 50 to 90 F (10 C to 32 C). 5 to 8 days Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in a good potting mix or soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
French Marigold Nov-Dec Marigold seeds can germinate in light and darkness as long as they’re exposed to a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 Celsius. 7 to 12 days Sprinkle the seeds on top of the medium and sow them at a depth that equals two to four times the diameter of the seeds. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Gerbera Winter Keep the seeds moist, but not waterlogged, and above 70° F, with eight hours or more of bright light per day. 14 to 21 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic tent and place them indoors in a bright window or under grow lights. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Guwar Bean   25°C  is optimal temperature for seed germination 7 to 12 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic to maintain moisture. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lavender Winter The optimum temperature for lavender seed germination is 80 degrees Fahrenheit/ 26.66 °C, and the minimum temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5°C. 14 to 28 days Spring time sowing, the practical soil temperature for lavender seed germination is 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 10 °C -15.55 °C. and light required for seeds germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lemon Balm Winter Temperature required for germination is 65–70°F (18–21°C). 7 to 14 days Seeds require light to germinate, and mist lightly.  Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lettuce Green Winter The soil temperature is 35 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal soil temperature for germination though, is 70 to 75 °F or 21 to 24 °C. 7 to 14 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic to maintain moisture and maintain temperature between 21 to 24 °C. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lettuce Ice Berg Winter The soil temperature is 35 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal soil temperature for germination though, is 70 to 75 °F or 21 to 24 °C. 7 to 14 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic to maintain moisture and maintain temperature between 21 to 24 °C. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Long Cucumber (Kakri) Winter Germination temperature: 60 F to 90 F – Do not plant until soil reaches 65 F. May germinate in 3 days at 80 F to 90 F. 3 to 10 days Cucumbers are very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lupinus Winter Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of soil and sprinkle water over the planting area. Keep the soil moist throughout the germination process. It takes 15 to 75 days for lupine sprouts to appear when the soil is 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 12.77 °C to 21.8 °C. 15 to 70 days Germination is greatly increased by a 7-day cold treatment or soak them in warm water for a 24-hour period. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Mellon Winter Sow 2–3 seeds, ¼-inch deep, the optimum temperature for seeds germination is 80–90°F/27–32°C 7 to 14 days It’s very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted.Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Okra (Lady Finger) Winter You can plant okra in the garden when the soil has warmed to 65° to 70°F or 18.33 °C to 22°C. Plant okra in fertile, well-drained soil in full light about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart. 7 to 14 days Water with a sprayer and keep the seeds in a bright, warm place, the substrate should remain moist until seeds germinate. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Onion Seeds Winter Sow thinly and cover with ¼ inch of seed starting formula. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of about 60-65 degrees F or 15.5 – 18.5 C 7 to 14 days Soil temperature affects the rate of germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Oregano Winter Plant the oregano seeds at depth of about 1/4 inch, in moist, sterile potting soil. Optimum tempertaure for seed germination is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.5°C to 24 °C. 7 to 14 days Cover the seed-raising container with a piece of plastic wrap to maintain a steady humidity level and dark for seedlings. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Orychophragmus violaca Winter Optimum temperature required for germination is 70 F 21 °C (Seeds having low germination rate 45% Germination, 3-15d) 7 to 14 days Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours. sow seed 1/16″ deep, tamp the soil, keep moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Pansy Swiss Giants Winter Temperature required for seeds germination is 65 F (18.3 °C) to 70 F (21.1°C). Cover seed lightly with peat moss or organic compost 14 to 21 days Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Parsley Winter Germination temperature range from 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (10 °C to 29.5°C) . Parsley seeds germinate poorly, if at all, below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees. The optimum temperature for germination is 40 degrees. 10 to 25 days Soak them in water for 12-24 hours. Parsley seeds should be in a bright, sunny room so they get plenty of light. Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Phlox Paniculata Winter The best temperature for germination is 65 degrees F/ 18.3 °C. Moisten the top layer of soil with warm water. Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil — this will keep the seeds intact and won’t rinse them away. 7 to 14 days Cover the container with a clear plastic bag to help the soil retain moisture. Seal the bag with an elastic band and Place the container in a dark. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Portulaca grandiflora Winter Set pots or pellets in a sunny window where the temperature is consistently between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 °C-29.5°C) or use a heating mat set between 70 and 85 F (21°C – 29.5 °C). 10 to 14 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Rosemary Winter To germinate, the seeds must be kept moist and the temperature must be kept constant at 27-32°C (80-90°F).Once germinated, rosemary is highly prone to damping off, so keep watering to a minimum, provide bright light, and ventilation 15 to 25 days Covering the seed tray with plastic wrap can help keep the seed moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. If growing rosemary in containers, provide monthly feedings of liquid fertilizer.
Salvia Farinacea Winter The best temperature required for germination is 68 F (20°C) to 75 F (24°C). Light required during germination so only lightly cover seeds after placing on growing media 10 to 30 days Do not cover the seed but press into the soil. Keep seeds moist until germination. If growing rosemary in containers, provide monthly feedings of liquid fertilizer.
Spearmint Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 60 F (15.55°C) to 70 F (21°C) and light required for germination. 14 to 21 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Squash Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 70 F (21°C) to 75 F (24°C) and no light required for germination. 10 to 15 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Statice Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 68 F (20°C) to 75 F (24°C) and  light required for germination. 10 to 21 days Cover seed lightly with peat moss or organic compost. Keep slightly moist but not wet until germination
Stock Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 70 F (21°C) and Lightly cover seed 1/8 inch 14 to 28 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Sweet Sultan Jolly Joker Winter Seeds placed at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. The best in temperatures of at least 70 °F or 21 °C.  7 to 14 days Sweet Sultan seeds should be stratified prior to sowing. This can be achieved by placing the packet of seeds in the fridge for about 1 week. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Tagetes erecta Winter The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 70 – 75F (21°C – 24 °C). Press seed into soil and lightly cover 5 to 20 says Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Thai Basil Winter The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 60F (15.5 °C). Press seed into soil and lightly cover. Ligh required suring germination. 7 to 14 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Thyme Winter The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 70 – 75F (21°C – 24 °C). Press seed onto surface of soil, do not cover seed. Ligh required during seed germination. 21 to 28 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Verbena Winter Well-draining soil, moisture and total darkness. The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 70 F (21 °C ).  Dark environment required for germination. 20 to 28 days dust some soil over the seeds or cover the flat with black plastic. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Water Melon Winter Warm ground for seeds to germinate and grow. Soil should be 70 degrees F (21°C) or warmer at planting time. 7 to 14 days Avoid seeds from sokaing before germination.  Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Wild Rocket Salad Winter Optimum temperature required for germination is 45 F or 8 °C  to 70 F or 21  °C .  Press seed into soil and lightly cover. Ligh required suring germination. 5 to 15 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Zinnia Winter Well-draining soil, moisture and total darkness. The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 75 F (23.8 °C ). Cover seed lightly with peat moss or compost no need of light during germination 7 to 14 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep soil slightly moist but not wet until germination