The Interaction Effects of Storage Condition, Storage Time and Initial Seed Moisture Content on Seedling Growth Performances of Coffee (Coffea arabica L.)

Kalifa Nasiro


Arabica Coffee is one of the most important agricultural commodities in Ethiopia. Despite considerable effort at vegetative propagation of coffee plants, they still are propagated by seedlings produced from seeds. Coffee 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 with ideal climatic conditions for planting in the field. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of storage temperature, time of storage and initial seed moisture content on germination and seedling performances of coffee seeds and to determine the appropriate seed handling method. In this experiment, the effects of storage temperature (ST) with two levels (15oC & ambient), time of storage with six levels (sowing after 1,2,3,4,5,&6 months) and initial seed moisture content with four levels (12, 17, 22 & 27%) on coffee seedling growth were studied in a split-split-plot factorial design. The data collected were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using statistical analysis system version 9.2 software (SAS, 2009). Treatment means were separated using LSD at 0.05 probability level. The present findings of storage environment with cold temperature (15oC) maintained early seedling growth parameters much better performances than did ambient temperature condition. All tested seedling growth parameters were highest at initial time of storage. After third month seed quality drastically reduced especially under ambient storage condition. Seeds dried to 12% moisture content showed inferior performance throughout the trial period. Seeds with 27% initial moisture content showed higher performances at initial storage time but when aged drastically declined. 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 & 22%), stored under cold temperature and sown at early times resulted in enhanced seedling growth. Hence, it is advisable drying coffee seeds to about 17% to 22% moisture contents and keep under storage with relatively lower temperatures at about 15oC for not more than six months of storage. As the present finding was limited to single cultivar and done under specific environmental condition further investigation is significant.

Keywords: Arabica coffee, Seedling, Growth

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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