Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] seed stored in triple layer Purdue Improved Cowpea
Storage (PICS) bags for eight months retained germination and seed integrity significantly better
than seed stored in traditional gunny bags. PICS bags prevented major damage caused by
bruchids (Callosobruchus maculatus F.), while grain stored in gunny bags suffered severe losses.
The aflatoxin levels in stored seed were low and not significantly different between the two
storage systems. The levels of O2 in PICS bags artificially infested with C. maculatus dropped
rapidly during the first month of storage while the levels of CO2 increased. Even in absence of
bruchids (noninfested seed) PICS bags preserved seed germination for extended periods of time
better than gunny bags; possibly due to the higher and more stable relative humidity inside the
PICS bags. Higher seed germination would result in improved plant stands in the field and
subsequent higher yields and increased productivity. Thus, PICS bags have shown potential to
positively impact the economy of pigeonpea farmers in the semi-arid tropics.
Source: Pigeonpea OAR