Select healthy rice seeds for planting



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Content: To choose healthy rice seeds for planting, soak seeds in water for one to two minutes. The seeds that sink are healthy seeds and can be planted. The seeds that float do not contain the food needed to get the new plant started.

Every farmer plants seeds to grow crops. Some farmers, however, get better crops than others and sometimes this is due to the quality of the seed planted.

Today, let’s think about rice or paddy seed. You may already know how to check to find out how many seeds out of 100 will sprout or germinate. That’s a good thing to do to help you decide how much seed you’ll need to plant.

There is an easy way to select good rice seeds that will germinate when you plant them. For this method to work, you must be sure that your seed is less than a year old, has been properly stored, and is not damaged by any pests. All you need is a couple of buckets and some clean water. If you put seeds in water, the good, healthy seeds will sink to the bottom, but the poor, light seeds float to the top. It is easy to skim the poor seeds off the top so you won’t plant them with the good seeds. I’ll tell you more about this method.

To begin with, get a clean bucket and fill it half full of clean water. If you have some salt, you can add a handful to the water. Stir the water to dissolve the salt. The salt will help to separate the good seeds from the bad seeds. However, the method will succeed even if you don’t add salt to the water.

Now add a quarter of a bucket of seeds to the first bucket. Stir the rice seeds in the water for one or two minutes, but not any longer. This will help all of the seeds to absorb water.

After you’ve stirred the seeds, you’ll probably notice that some of the seeds are beginning to float while others are collecting at the bottom of the bucket. The good seeds are the ones that sink to the bottom. They’re heavy because they contain the material that will feed the growing seedling. The bad seeds are floating on top of the water. They are light and float because they don’t have that special plant food in them.

Don’t plant those floating seeds. Remove them with your hand, or skim them off the top in some other way. If you keep chickens, give these poor seeds to the chickens. Or you could add them to your compost pile.

The remaining heavier seeds that sank to the bottom of the bucket are the good ones for planting. One more thing. If you’ve been using salted water, it’s important to wash the good seeds well with clean fresh water before planting. Any seeds that have been selected this way should be spread out to dry unless you will be sprouting them for planting within a day or two.


This is the first of three items on rice in this package. You might wish to use these items together. You might also wish to use information from:

How Good is the Seed You’re Going to Plant? —Package 4, Item 1

Storing Grain—Package 4, Item 2

A ‘Dapog’ Saves Time for Rice Growers—Package 3, Item 4

Storing Vegetable Seeds—Package 8, Item 1C

Improving the Field Crops You Grow by Selection—Package 9, Item 6

Information sources

1. Wet Paddy or Swamp Rice, Better Farming Series No. 21, (1977, 40 pages; page 19), Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy.—off-0unescoen–00-0—-0-10-0—0—0direct-10—4——-0-1l–11-en-50—20-about—00-0-1-00-0–4—-0-0-11-10-0utfZz-8-00&a=d&cl=CL1.1&d=HASH013a907136b36e173d776d91.3.fc OR