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Drying soybean seed using air ambient temperature at low relative humidity

Secagem de sementes de soja com ar à temperatura ambiente e baixa umidade relativa

Francisco Carlos Krzyzanowski Sherlie Hill West José de Barros França Neto About the authors

Under subtropical and tropical environments soybean seed (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) are harvested early to avoid deterioration from weathering. Careful after-harvest drying is required and is an important step in maintaining the physiological quality of the seed. Soybean seed should be harvested when the moisture content is in a range of 16-20%. Traditional drying utilizes a high temperature air stream passed through the seed mass without dehumidification. The drying time is long because the system is inefficient and the high temperature increases the risk of thermal damage to the seed. New technology identified as heat pipe technology (HPT) is available and has the unique feature of removing the moisture from the air stream before it is passed through the seed mass at the same environmental temperature. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the performance of HPT for dry soybean seed. In the first study the seeds were dried from 17.5 to 11.1% in 2 hours and 29 minutes and in the second sudy the seeds were dried from 22.6 to 11.9% in 16 hours and 32 minutes. This drying process caused no reduction in seed quality as measured by the standard germination, tetrazolium-viability, accelerated aging and seedling vigor classification tests. The only parameter that indicated a slight seed quality reduction was tetrazolium vigor in the second study. It was concluded that the HPT system is a promising technology for drying soybean seed when efficiency and maintenance of physiological quality are desired.

Glycine max; quality; vigor; germination; conditioning

Associação Brasileira de Tecnologia de Sementes R. Raja Gabaglia, 1110 , 86060-190 Londrina - PR Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 43) 3025 5120 - Londrina - PR - Brazil