Seed moisture range in a soybean plant

Distribuição da umidade da semente em uma planta de soja

It is common to see in any soybean plant that seeds reach maturity at different times. Thus the objective of the present study was to determine the magnitude of the seed moisture range at different stages of maturation in a soybean plant. The field study was conducted in a tropical region in the state of Mato Grosso - Brazil, established with foundation seeds of the MTBR-45 cultivar, and at flowering, 100 plants were marked at the same maturity stage. Harvesting began when seeds still were at high moisture content (MC). At each of eight harvesting times, during 16 days, all pods from two plants were harvested and the seeds from each pod were hand threshed individually and determined the moisture content . The results revealed that there is a great distribution of seed MC in a soybean plant, where at physiological maturity, the magnitude can reach more than 30 percentage points. Also, even with an average MC below 12%, there were more than 20 % of the seeds with MC above 13% and some seeds at this point had been waiting to be harvested for more than a week. The following conclusions and/or recommendations can be taken: 1- The great seed MC range in a soybean seed lot harvested at field maturity leads to the presence of seeds susceptible to mechanical damage and with MC unsafe for adequate storage; 2 - It is recommended that harvesting be accomplished when the seeds are in the 15-18% MC range, in order to minimize field deterioration and the percentage of seeds with high MC; 3- Drying is recommended, even when soybean seeds are in their average MC safe for storage.

Glycine max; soybean seed; field deterioration

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