Chuwang P.Z., Idowu G.A., Oku E.
Abstract: Poor seed germination and poor crop establishment are major challenges for farmers. A field study was carried out at the University of Abuja Research Farm to evaluate the influence of different priming agents on the germination/establishment and field performance of soybean in the Guinea Savanna region of Nigeria. Five (5) treatments were used in the study, four (4) priming agents (gibberrelic acid, sodium chloride (NaCl), coconut water and warm water) and the control. The study was arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replicates. Seed priming improved germination percentage of soybean. Soybean seeds primed with gibberrelic acid performed best in respect to flowering percentage by 92.03 % followed by those primed with coconut water which had 87.07 %.Gibberrelic acid stimulated the highest germination percentage (97.20 %) in seeds of soybean while the control (no-priming) had the lowest soybean 64.83 %. The significant difference recoded among the priming agents used in the study in respect to germination percentage, number of leaves, plant height and flowering percentage may be attributed to the differences in their ability to improve seed vigour. Gibberrelic acid and coconut water have high capacity to improve seed vigour which results in high germination percentage and field establishment of soybean. Coconut water is effective, more accessible, natural and cheap for seed priming for smallholder farmers in Nigeria. Coconut water is thereby recommended as seed priming agent for smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
Keywords: Priming, Gibberrelic acid, coconut water, soybean, NaCl, priming agent