Film agents as an effective means of reducing seed shattering in Festulolium
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In the conditions of the forest steppe of the Central Chernozem region, methods were studied to reduce shatter losses in the pre-harvesting period for Festulolium during the period 2009–2011, applying the film forming agents, Elastik (0.8–1.2 L ha-1), Bifaktor (0.8–1.2 L ha-1), and Metylan Universal Premium (1.4–3.8 kg ha-1). The agents were used at seed humidity levels of between 60–65%. Following anti-shattering treatment, seed moisture content gradually decreased. The application of film forming agents prevented seed shattering, and seeds were harvested by direct combining at a humidity of between 20–25% without heavy losses being suffered. Moreover, decreased seed losses due to film forming agents significantly reduced the cost of seed heap drying. In the control treatment, the seed yield amounted to 214.8 kg ha-1, and 360.7 kg ha-1 was lost as a result of natural seed shattering in the process of ripening. The Elastik and Bifaktor preparations prevented seed shattering and contributed to the preservation of a seed yield of between 522.1–563.5 kg ha-1. The application of film forming agents contributed to a reduction in losses during harvesting within the range of 9.7–16.8%. Application of the Metylan Universal Premium glue in the studied doses provided a significant increase of seed yield. The highest seed yield (490.1–495.2 kg ha-1) was obtained in the treatment which used a Metylan application at a dose of 3.0–3.4 kg ha-1, where seed shattering was reduced by 14.8–17.6%.