SELECTION OF PLANTING MATERIALS
When selecting materials for planting the following factors must be considered:
Suitability to the ecological conditions — the selected planting materials should be well adapted to the soil conditions, temperatures and amount of rainfall in the area. There are many varieties of maize, for example, which are suitable to different ecological conditions. Hybrid 622f or example is mainly for the high altitudes areas of Kenya 513 for the medium altitudes and the Katumani composites for the low rainfall areas while the coast composites are suitable for the coastal conditions each variety will grow well and produce high yields if grown under the correct conditions
Purity of the materials – planting materials should be pure and not mixed with other off types the percentage purity of planting materials will affect the seed while higher seeds rates are used for impure seeds.
Germination percentage – This is a measure of the germination potential of seeds it is expressed as a percentage for example a germination percentage of 80 means that for every 10 seeds planted 80 of them are expected to germinate. Germination percentage helps to determine the seed rates of crops lower seed rates are used for crops with higher germination percentage while higher seed rates are used for those with lower germination percentage.
Certified seeds – These are seeds which have been tested and proven to have 100 germination potential and free from diseases and pests they give high yields after the first planting but the subsequent yields decline if replaced therefore in this case it is always advisable to buy new seeds which are certified every time planting is done In Kenya certified seeds are produced by the Kenya seed company(KSC) and distributed by Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) and other agents.