Investigation of pulsed electromagnetic field as a novel organic pre-sowing method on germination and initial growth stages of cotton
Two different pre-sowing techniques have been investigated for their influence in an important industrial plant, namely cotton. Priming methods are very useful for agricultural practices because they improve crop seedling establishment, especially when environmental conditions are not optimum. Pulsed electromagnetic fields have been found to promote germination and improve early growth characteristics of cotton seedlings. Such priming techniques are especially valuable in organic cultivation, where chemical compounds are prohibited. PEG treatment showed an enhancement in some measurements, however in some cases the results were not statistically different compared to control plants. In addition, PEG treatment is a sophisticated method that is far from agricultural practices and farmers. In this research, two different ages of seeds were used (1- and 2-year-old) in order to investigate the promotory effects of priming techniques. Magnetic field treatment of 15 min was found to stimulate germination percentage and to promote seeds, resulting in 85% higher values than control seeds under real field conditions. Furthermore, seeds that were treated with magnetic field performed better in terms of early-stage measurements and root characteristics.