Field experiments were carried out between July and December 2010 and 2011 at research station of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Obafemi Awolowo University, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, to determine the effects of time of harvesting on kenaf seed physiological maturity and quality. Kenaf seed of 10 genotypes were collected at seven harvesting periods. Seeds were harvested at 5 day interval from 15 to 45 days after flowering (DAF). Significant variation was observed in all the kenaf genotypes for all the parameters studied. Maximum seed quality as measured by seed viability, moisture content, seed mass and germination percentage were obtained at 35 DAF. However, seed quality of kenaf genotypes reduced thereafter with age and pre-harvest sprouting on mother plant occurred. Maximum seed weight (mass maturity) was achieved at 35DAF in both years when average seed moisture contents were 20.58 and 19.28%, respectively. For high seed quality, kenaf is better harvested at 35 DAF which could be regarded as the point of physiological maturity.
Key words: Kenaf, harvesting period, seed quality, mass maturity, physiological maturity.
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