Maintaining optimum plant population is an important factor in maximizing crop production and productivity. Establishment of okra in the field could be improved by applying suitable priming treatment to seeds. The present investigation was undertaken to find out the effect of seed priming treatments and soaking durations on biochemical parameters and agronomic characters of okra seeds. Okra seeds primed with three priming treatments T1, T2 and T3 (hydropriming, osmopriming with 5% PEG and 10% PEG solution) with soaking durations from 24 to 48 h at 6 h interval, that is, 24, 30, 36, 42 and 48 h were used. Dry okra seeds were considered control treatment. Priming treatments and soaking durations significantly increased biochemical components such as crude protein, total minerals, dry matter, iodine, phosphorus and mucilage content compared to control. Priming with T2 treatment for 24 h soaking duration gave the best results, followed by T1 and T3. Agronomic characters such as number of days taken to 50% flowering, maximum number of nodes and fruiting nodes on main stem, fruit length, fruit width, plant height at first picking, plant height at final harvest, marketable yield per plant, total yield per plant and average fruit weight were improved with priming while control seeds proved to be the poorest. Primed seeds showed better performance of okra than control treatment in aspects of studied criteria.
Key words: Okra, priming duration, biochemical parameters, yield.