Influence of Seed Initial Moisture Content, Storage Condition and Time of Storage on Seedling Growth Stages of Coffee (Coffea arabica L.)
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Jimma Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 192, Jimma, Ethiopia
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Coffee is one of the most important agricultural products in the international market and many countries are involved in its production, trade or consumption. Arabica coffee is self-pollinated, homozygous, and normally propagated by seeds. Seeds have been considered intermediate storage behavior with varying results. It is highly desirable that seeds are stored safely to optimize coffee seedling production at the appropriate time and season. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of storage temperature, time of storage and initial seed moisture contents on early seedling performances of coffee seeds and to determine the appropriate seed handling method. In this experiment, the influence of initial seed moisture content with four levels (12, 17, 22 & 27%) with storage two temperature (15oC & ambient), time of storage with six levels (sowing after each month and upto 6 months) and on coffee seedling growth stages were studied in a split-split-plot factorial design. The data collected were subjected to ANOVA. The storage environment with cold temperature (15oC) accelerated seedling growth stages parameters much better performances than did ambient temperature condition. All tested seedling growth stages were faster at initial time of storage. After third month seed quality drastically reduced especially under ambient storage condition. Seeds dried to 12% moisture content showed delayed performance throughout the trial period. Seeds with 27% initial moisture content took shorter days to reach at different growth stages at initial storage time but when aged took much days. Storage temperature, time of storage and initial seed moisture contents showed highly significant main and interaction effects and seeds dried to intermediate moisture level (17 and 22%), stored under cold temperature and sown at early times resulted in enhanced seedling growth. It was concluded that drying coffee seeds to 17% to 22% moisture contents and kept under storage with relatively lower temperatures (15oC) for not more than six months of storage showed better performance.
Keywords: Arabica coffee, Coffee Seedling, Seedling growth stage.