Seed yield and quality of okra as influenced by sowing dates
Field trials were conducted at the Gangetic Alluvium of eastern India to find out the most suitable sowing time to achieve higher yield, comparatively less incidence of yellow vein mosaic virus (YVMV) and quality seed of okra over four consecutive years having seven sowing times at fortnight interval (1st February, 16th February, 1st March, 16th March, 1st April, 16th April and 1st May). The seed yield attributing characters differed significantly with different sowing dates. The maximum matured pods per plant (14.57) and the longest matured pod (18.00 cm) was observed from 1st April sowing which was statistically similar with that of number and length recorded between16th February and 1st May sowing dates. However, seeds sown in 16th February significantly produced the highest mean seed yield (6.84 q/ha) followed by 1st March (6.18 q/ha) sowing over the years. Seeds sown in either 16th February or 1st March produced the best quality seed (85.30 and 80.0% germination; 45.0 and 44.0 g test weight 29.75; 11.79 and 11.64 vigour index, respectively). Correlation study clearly revealed that seeds per pod and test weight significantly contributed to the seed yield. Rainfall was found to be the major contributor with a significant negative effect on yield over the year. The seed yield of okra was highly influenced by the incidence of YVMV and higher yield was obtained during disease free period, particularly between February and March. The income per rupee investment of okra seed crop was found to be the maximum (2.40) when sown at 2nd fortnight of February.
Key words: Okra, seed yield, seed quality, economics.