In rice-wheat systems, late sowing of wheat is the major reason of low yield. This yield reduction is principally due to lower and erratic germination, and poor crop establishment because of low temperature prevailing. The present study was conducted to explore the possibility of improving late sown wheat performance by seed priming techniques. Seed priming strategies were: on-farm seed priming, hydropriming for 24 h, seed hardening for 12 h and osmohardening with KCl or CaCl2 for 12 h. Seed priming improved emergence, stand establishment, tiller numbers, allometry, grain and straw yield, and harvest index. However, seed priming techniques did not affect plant height, number of spikelets, number of grains and 1000 grain weight. Osmohardening with CaCl 2 gave more grain and straw yield and harvest index compared with control and other priming treatments, followed by osmohardening with KCl and on-farm seed priming. Improved yield was attributed principally to better stand establishment and improved number of fertile tillers. Seed priming techniques can be effectively used to improve the performance of late sown wheat.
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