Appropriate mechanical sowing depth and soil-covering thickness improving seedling quality of tartary buckwheat

Dabing Xiang, Liang Zou, Lianxin Peng, Gang Zhao, Yu Fan, Shuang Wei, Chao Song, Xueyi Liu, Jimu Hailai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) is an edible and medicinal crop belonging to family Polygonaceae and it is native to southwest of China, northern India, Bhutan and Nepal. The seeds are widely consumed as daily diet and traditional medicine, such as tartary buckwheat flour, noodles, bread, tea, vinegar, sprouts, etc. Tartary buckwheat is one of the most complete and nutritional foods and rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins, dietary fiber, amino acids, trace elements, and various bioactive phytochemicals. Thus, interest in the use of tartary buckwheat for health benefits is growing, and the market demand is increasing. However, the major tartary buckwheat production is in hilly and high-cold mountainous areas. Because of the inconvenience in transportation and lack of communication with outside, the mechanization of farming in these areas is still under developed, which seriously limits the development of tartary buckwheat industry. As we known, mechanization for farming is important in increase of farm productivity and improving efficiency for modern agriculture production. In order to investigate the feasibility of mechanized seeding technology and the measures of improving the mechanical sowing quality of tartary buckwheat in the hilly areas, a field experiment with three sowing depth (2, 4, 6 cm) and soil-covering (no-covering as CK) was conducted to study quality of tartary buckwheat seedlings during the growing season of 2012 at the farm of Jintang county in Sichuan Province. The results showed that sowing depth was the most important factor, and the optimum depth was 4 cm. The emergence rate, seedling number, seedling rate, root activity, stem diameter, dry matter, area per plant and leaf chlorophyll content of the treatment of 2 cm sowing depth decreased significantly (p<0.05) as compared to 4 cm sowing depth. Besides, the 6 cm sowing depth resulted in significantly (p<0.05) lower emergence rate, plant height, dry matter weight, area per plant, stem diameter and leaf chlorophyll content as compared to the treatment of 4 cm sowing depth. Compared with the treatment of no soil-covering, the emergence rate, root activity, dry matter and length of underground stem were significantly (p<0.05) enhanced by the treatment of soil-covering. Results from the principal component analysis (PCA) indicated that there were large differences among the tartary buckwheat seedling quality among different sowing depth treatments, and soil-covering enhanced the change of these qualities. The high root activity, plant height, total dry matter weight and root dry weight, large stem diameter and area per plant, moderate length of underground stem and short length of cotyledonary node served as the indicators for good tartary buckwheat seedling quality. Above all, the sowing depth of 4 cm with soil-covering was beneficial to improve the quality of tartary buckwheat seedling, which can be recommended in the hilly areas of southwest China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalNongye Gongcheng Xuebao/Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Agricultural machinery
  • Cultivation
  • Growth
  • Mechanical sowing
  • Seedling trait
  • Soil covering
  • Tartary buckwheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering


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