The production of most of the species summarized in this book is much more risky and significantly more costly than for conventional seed production. It is therefore essential to follow the instructions exactly in order to ensure viable production. However, several fundamental and general valid comments can be made as follows.
Profits and yields are essential for profitable production. An economic evaluation of the production of site-specific species within the sphere of a research project for the optimization of seed production showed a satisfactory cover level for most of the species. Great care, preparedness for high risk and a learning process of several years are prerequisite. Nevertheless, the niche sector of the production of sitespecific seed varieties has its own rules.
The market is relatively limited. A lack of legal regulations still enables commercial mixtures of ecologically unsuitable species, which are significantly cheaper, to be used. Site-specific seed mixtures can only be sold through the intensive service and expertise of seed buyers.
Cultivation and plant protection
Compared to cultivated species and varieties, all site-specific species have the common characteristic of an early slow development and little resistance to competition. All species need a perfectly prepared seedbed. Measures for plant protection must be undertaken as early as possible to avoid large deficiencies in yields. Biological planting is therefore out of the question for most species.
Many grasses show a high tendency to blight diseases. Only early control with suitable fungicides can prevent damage to the plant stand over a wide area. The regulations of the respective countries should be observed with regard to permission, use and precautionary measures when using pesticides.
Several of the sprays introduced have given good results in practice, but are not permitted for the relevant types of culture. Because weeds are one of the most significant problems in the production of site-specific seeds, the appropriate agents are at least named.
External qualities such as purity and germinating capacity are mostly within the producers sphere of influence. A balanced species and timely supply of nutrition optimize the development and yield capacity of the species produced. Irrigation is indispensable in dry areas during the summer, and helpful at all sites in dry years.
The time and harvesting technique can decisively influence yield as well as the quality of the product. Drying facilities appropriately adapted for seed varieties are a prerequisite for the grasses, legumes and herbs described. Drying temperatures of 42°C should never be exceeded. Rapid transportation from the field to the drying facility is important for grasses above all because of the relatively high water content of the seeds and excessive independent heating of the threshed material.
Low humidity and low air temperatures are essential factors for long storage of seeds without damage.