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The effect of dry heat on alfalfa seed and its adulterants

Staker, E.V.
Agronomy journal 1925 v.17 no.1 pp. 32-40
Medicago sativa, seed germination, heat treatment, temperature
The results of the foregoing experiments indicate: that the heating of commercial alfalfa seed between the temperatures of 60 degrees and 90 degrees C., increased the percentage of germination. That a temperature of 60 degrees C. is as operative in this increase as one of 90 degrees C. The increase in percentage of germination of heated over unheated seed is due to the reduction of the number of hard seeds. That light green or yellow colored alfalfa seed is more responsive to heating as measured by increased germination, than is brown colored seed. A large proportion of the inferior seed of alfalfa probably can be killed when dry heated at 85 degrees C. or 90 degrees C. Russian thistle and white tumbelweed seeds seem to be completely killed at temperatures of 85 degrees and 90 degrees C. for a four hour period. Seeds of sour dock and buckhorn plantain were seriously affected. Additional work is necessary before a definite statement can be made regarding dodder, but the author believes it can be successfully controlled by heating alfalfa containing the seed at a temperature of 80 degrees C. to 90 degrees C. for a period of four hours.