Why is your seed expensive especially SC 727?
SC 727 seed is a single cross hybrid ie it is produced from crossing two inbred lines which are generally poor in terms of seed yield produced hence its very difficult and costly to produce. The price we give to SC 727 producers or seed growers is compensatory to cover up for the low seed productivity levels and the cost is transferred to the farmers/consumers hence the high price relative to three-way hybrids i.e SC 637, SC 627, SC 403, SC 513, SC 403, SC 301, etc. It should be noted that, as much as it is low yielding in terms of the seed, it is the best yielder in Zimbabwe and Africa when grown as a commercial hybrid. So the benefits a farmer can get out of this hybrid far out way the price to buy a 1 hectare pack ie 50 000 kernel bag. It has a potential to yield up to 20 t/ha under good management.
Why do Seed Co varieties have open tips that expose the maize to weevil damage and cob rots especially SC 513?
Open tips it’s a genetic makeup of the variety which gives it a big advantage of fast dry down rate after reaching physiological maturity. Practically it is more of an advantage than a disadvantage in the sense of drying down for quick time to harvest. It should be noted that the open tip can also pose challenges with regards to proneness to weevil infestations as well as cob rots especially when the crop encounters late rains. On the regard of open tips and cob rots, we have deliberately bred in the drooping quality in all open tip varieties( and of course all our varieties possesses this drooping trait). As a research company, we have improved on the tip cover trait on newly released blockbusters such as SC529 and SC533 in the 500 series group, which have closed tips to complement SC513 on the market and offer farmers a wider choice in the same maturity category.
Why is SC 403 prone to weevil damage?
SC 403 seems to be prone to weevil infestation because of its nature to have fast dry down after it reaches physiological maturity. In simpler terms it reaches infestable moisture levels (13 percent and below) quicker than other varieties in the same maturity group which is practically a big advantage to the farmer for a quick harvest. It should be noted that weevils can only infest any variety which has grain moisture of 13% and below. There is hence a need to educate farmers to harvest their crop as early as when it reaches these moisture levels to reduce weevil damage. It should also be noted that whenever farmers plant varieties of different maturity groups at the same time, effectively they reach maturity and harvestable moisture at different times and rates, hence should be harvested at different times ie a SC 301 will be harvested earlier then followed by a SC 403, SC 529, SC 513, SC 637 and then lastly the 700 series in that order ie assuming they were planted at the same time. Farmers should harvest their crop early before it reaches infestable moisture levels. "Varimi havafaniri kutangidzwa kuona kuti chibage chasvika pakuda kukohwa nezvipfukuto". Vanofanira kutanga kuona zvipfukuto zvisati zvaona kuti chasvika pahunyoro hwekukohwa 13 percent.
Do dent varieties weigh the same as flint varieties?
Dent varieties are generally heavier than flints and that can be explained by the fact that, the most high yielding varieties on the market are dents ie SC 727, SC 719, SC 633 etc. Normally flints are filled with more air spaces and that is why they tend to pop more than dents when roasted. The usual example is a popcorn which is flint, it pops more because of the air spaces. So dents are heavier or more dense than flints and hence more yielding. An example is SC 537 which was specifically bred to be flint textured, yields less than SC 529 which is dent. Farmers should instead and always note the three yield components in maize: good cobbing ability (ability to throw a long, fat cob) , high row number and high shelling out percentage. These determine the ultimate yield for the farmer and as such our maize breeding program always target to address and enhance these important and yield determining components. That is where the yield for the farmer comes from.
Why do we get different sized seed kernels in one packet including damaged seed?
Kernel sorting or grading can be a requirement for maize seed but looking at the significantly larger chunk of our clientele base who are smallholder farmers, they normally plant manually by hand and do not normally require graded seed. Grading would be unnecessarily costly for hand planting. Commercial farmers on the other hand use planters-mechanical, pneumatic and precision planters, which normally require graded seed for seeding efficiency. Farmers using planters can specifically order sorted or graded seed with their favoured kernel type and size. The seed will be uniformly graded as per their specification.
Damaged seed cannot be explained by any other means but a sign of poor quality standard of the seed and Seed Co quality standards do not allow this to exceed stipulated acceptable levels. We thrive to provide high quality seed with excellent physical and genetic purity. As an ISO certified seed complaint, the seed we give to the farmer will have passed national and Seed Co standards and is Pure for Sure.