Have you heard of hybrid Seeds? I think most of us do know these high-yield seeds. Almost every gardener comes across some kind of hybrid seed each season. No matter what you grow, you can find F1 hybrids of every fruit, vegetable, and flower in the seed store. Hybrid seeds have a higher yield, better heat and disease tolerance, a faster growth rate, and all other benefits that you can imagine in a plant. The only problem with these seeds is they are costly. There are two important aspects that decide their price. First, the company that develops the seeds has the advantage of regulating prices for their profit. Next, the production itself is a very tedious and costly task. So Why is it expensive to Produce Hybrid Seeds? The development of Hybrid seeds takes a lot of time and effort.
This includes paid labor, isolated breeding areas, Control equipment, and too much time. At last hybridization, these days is a completely demand-driven task. It is quite obvious that if the demand is high and only you have the material then the cost will rise in your favor. This eventually makes the production of Hybrid seeds very expensive.
What are Hybrid Seeds?
Hybrid Seeds are the offspring of two separate variety of plants that belongs to the same species or a genus. Cultivators bred these special varieties to incorporate the beneficial traits of both parents. These new seeds will inherit the combined characters of the parents.
The theory is quite simple. Just introduce pollens from the flower of one variety to the stigma of another variety. The flower will fertilize and produce fruits. These new fruits will give you some hybrid Seeds. The next generation of the plant grown from these seeds should have the traits of both parents.
Although it seems easy, the procedure is quite complex and time taking. All the money, time, and effort spent on the development of the desired Character in a Hybrid seed make it costly.
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How to Produce Hybrid Seeds?
The production of Hybrid Seeds involves some very important steps. These steps are essential to regulate the outcome. The whole idea of Hybrid seed is related to its commercial benefits. These seeds are meant to fulfill market needs in return for the commercial benefit to those who develop it.
Therefore to Produce a Hybrid You must follow these steps.
- Select Parent Plants with Desired Characters
- Plan Isolated growing Area for Hybridization
- Manual pollination of Flowers
- Binding Pollinated flowers to prevent impurities in the specimens.
- Observing and Selecting developed fruits for best Seeds
It all starts with selecting two separate parents of different varieties for the hybridization process. First of all, we grow a healthy batch of parents well isolated from others. Once they grow mature and start blooming. We have to manually pollinate each female flower without letting any impurities damage the results. Also, prevent self-pollination by removing anthers from the flower before they mature. All of this is a labor-intensive task that requires time and money.
Even after successful pollination, you have to take care of the fruit formation until it matures. Latter we have to collect random seeds and regrow them to confirm they got the required characters. Once everything is fine we can continue with the next generation hybridization or sell those seeds for commercial benefits.
Are Hybrid seeds more expensive than Heirloom seeds?
Yes, Hybrid seeds are always more expensive than heirloom varieties. These seeds have high vitality and better yield. This can be an advantage for the farmers. They can earn more with better crop production.
Hybrid seeds can yield more in less time. These seeds have better immunity against common diseases. Although they are expensive, they can help with maintaining ever-increasing market needs.
Cultivators may need decades to perfect any Hybrid seed. This much time, money, and effort are worthy for getting the best outcome in the fields. Though these are the same reasons that make the Hybrid seeds so expensive.
High labor costs and the required time make Hybrid seeds more expensive than any Heirloom seeds.
Why is it expensive to Produce Hybrid Seeds?
The labor cost is the most expensive part of the Hybridization. You may need some tools and chemicals that can help in this process. True hybridization requires manual emasculation of the female flowers. It is essential to prevent self-pollination. In this process, we have to remove the anther before it produces mature pollen. Next, we have to hand pollinate the stigma with pollen collected from flowers of different varieties. All of this requires a dedicated man force. Hiring labor can be a bit expensive if you have to deal with it for a couple of years.
Tools and the isolated facility adds up to this cost making Hybrid Seeds more expensive.
Why do Farmers Prefer Hybrid Seeds if they are costly?
Farmers prefer hybrid Seeds due to their high yield and better immunity against common diseases. Heirloom seeds are good for organic farming. You can grow them and collect seeds year after year without spending any extra penny on new seeds. Although continuous cultivation of the same variety increases the risk of dominant pests and diseases. They can damage the entire crop causing massive commercial loss. This has previously happened in history and can happen again.
So to improve crop quality and to maintain its viability we have to keep them evolving. Hybridization is a simple yet faster technique to evolution a plant. It only requires time money and dedication for someone who wants to successfully achieve hybridization. In the end, we will get a better hybrid seed with higher immunity. It will definitely have better heat and drought tolerance.
Farmers prefer Hybrid seeds for their benefits although they are costly. Sometimes paying more for good quality seed is better for a higher yield.
Also read: How many seeds does a Strawberry Contain?
So Why is it Expensive to Produce Hybrid Seeds? It takes a lot of time and effort to develop these hybrid Seeds. That’s why you have to spend more o these seeds. Although I grow vegetables from heirloom seeds. They are much easier to grow and collect seeds. On the other hand, hybrid seeds are best for first-generation. They will lose or mix up some traits with subsequent generations. Sometimes they can’t even produce viable seeds for the next plantation. This also adds up to their cost. You have to buy fresh seeds each year to get the best yield. The demand and its commercial aspect make Hybrid seed so much more costly.