Pelleting is a process in which small or irregularly shaped seeds are coated with an inert material to make them round and uniform.
Seed is coated with a round protective and nutritive covering which makes uniform sowing of small and rough seeds, reduce labor, improve growing condition ultimately enhance yield of crops by 20 to 25%. The small sized seed are difficult to hand during sowing. The seeds are coated with colored, biodegradable substances that make them larger and hence easier to handle and plant.
Seed pelleting reduce deterioration specially in vegetable crops, reduce the quantitative and qualitative loss and maintain quality of the seed for longer storage seed pelleting is an important process to reduced seed rate and thinning practices during seed production. It not only enhances the seed quality it also reduced the cost of seed production. Pelleted seed could be directly seeded in the field or sown in flats for transplants, these seed allows for greater accuracy and results in a more efficient seeding process.
Initially, seed coating and pelleting technology have been developed for seed signalation, adding bioactive chemicals, nutrients and beneficial microbes and for sowing seed under dry and wet conditions. Seed pelleting reduce deterioration specially in vegetable crops, reduce the quantitative and qualitative loss and maintain quality of the seed for longer storage. The bulking material simply inert clay was used in past, but now it is often a combination of several different minerals and materials which can enhance germination and protect the seed and resulting seedling.
Some pelleted seed is now even produced with oxygen promoting chemicals which allow seed to be sown under very wet conditions and still germinate optimally. Two type of material such as adhesive and filler materials used in seed pelleting. There are various methods used for pelleting viz., Inoculant pelleting, Protective pelleting, herbicide pelleting nutrient pelleting hydrophilic/hydrophobic coating and oxygen supplier coating.
Seed pelleting is an important process to reduced seed rate and thinning practices during seed production. Pelleted seed do not stick in mechanical planters that make easier sowing. In case of small seeded crops, such as lettuce and carrots which are difficult to handle during sowing time, seed pelleting makes easier to handle during sowing.
Talha Javed, Muhammad Asif and Shahnawaz
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan