It is known that maxim seed quality is reached at physiological maturity, which is the point of maximum dry weight accumulation, seed vigor and germination. The high moisture content in seeds after their maturity until harvest can accelerate the seed deterioration process, due to high metabolic activity. The objective of this study was to evaluate harvest time with natural and artificial drying and castor seed quality. Seeds were used seeds from the second spike of two cultivars, Al Guarany 2002 and BRS 188 Paraguaçu, produced at an experimental station of Embrapa Clima Temperado (Pelotas, RS). The experiment consisted of five treatments: premature harvest of castor seeds with four drying temperatures: 40 (standard), 60, 80 and 100ºC, and harvest delayed for 25 days with natural drying on the mother plant (SNP). The premature harvest of castor seeds allied with increases in drying temperature significantly reduced their physiological quality, but the drying temperature 40ºC provided better seed quality, while higher temperatures were damaging.
Ricinus communis L.; temperature; damage