ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 106, No. 3 (2019), p. 241–248
DOI 10.13080/z-a.2019.106.031

Effects of organic seed treatment methods on spring barley seed quality, crop, productivity and disease incidence



Low energy electrons (electron treatment), aerated steam (thermal treatment) and a bacterial product Cedomon containing Pseudomonas chlororaphis (bacterial treatment) were selected for the trial as the most popular seed treatment methods in Western and Northern Europe. This trial was aimed to evaluate the effect of treatments on seed sanitation, crop and disease development and yield parameters. Two spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars ‘Luokė’ and ‘Alisa DS’ were investigated during 2014–2015 under the conditions of Central Lithuania. Low energy electron treatment was found to exert a negative effect: the mean yield decrease was 20% compared to the control. The yield reduction resulted from the inefficient seed sanitation and reduced field emergence compared to the control. Thermal treatment increased the yield by an average of 35%, viz. in 2014 by 58% and in 2015 by 13%. The yield increase was influenced by very efficient seed sanitation in the first year but not in the second year. Bacterial treatment with Cedomon increased the yield by an average of 3%. This treatment improved neither seed health nor crop stand density in ‘Luokė’; however, it had a positive effect on the seeds of ‘Alisa DS’ in both experimental years. Improved seed health increased grain yield in ‘Alisa DS’, while poor seed health decreased yield in ‘Luokė’. None of the seed treatment methods tested showed consistent and unquestionable results. The yield increase depended mainly on the improved seed health, thus the main strategy to produce stable yield is seed health testing of the lots intended for use in organic agriculture.

Key words: Hordeum vulgare, organic agriculture, pathogenic fungi.

Full text: 106_3_str31.pdf