Usually (Chicorium intybus) is found admixed with berseem seed. Since the size of chicory seed resembles with berseem seed; it becomes difficult to separate them by ordinary methods.
However, the seed of berseem is oval while the seed of is conical. To remove chicory seeds, 10% common salt solution is used. The chicory seeds being lighter in weight then berseem seed float on the surface while berseem seeds settle down at the bottom of container. In this way chicory seeds may be drained off and berseem seed collected.
Being a leguminous crop, berseem enriches the soil with sizeable quantities of nitrogen through symbiotic nitrogen fixation with the help of Rhizobium bacteria .Therefore, berseem seed should be inoculated with culture of Rhizobium trifollii to enhance the process of biological nitrogen fixation in root nodules especially in soils where berseem is being grown for the first time
Under normal condition, the optimum seed rate of berseem has been found to be 25 kg/ha. When the sowing is taken up earlier than the appropriate time, the quantity of seed used is increased by 15to20%to compensate the loss of seedling mortality occurring due to prevailing high atmospheric temperature.
Sowing time is an important factor governing germination, seedling survival, number of cuts and herbage production. Berseem should be sown when the temperature is in the range of 25-27oC. Thus, the optimum sowing time of berseem in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (the bowl cultivation) is the entire month of October. In Bengal and Gujarat sowing is taken up only in the month of November. Sowing can continue upto first week of December in eastern region. Delayed sowing results in loss or one of two cuttings. Timely sowing extends the period of forage availability and thereby increases the total yield.
The seed bed for berseem sowing is prepared by filling the water to a depth of 4-5cm, raking the soil and creating the muddy condition by light puddling (mechanical manipulation of soil at high moisture content). Then the over night soaked seeds are broadcast in standing muddy water in crosswise directions to obtain uniform seed distribution. The sowing should be done towards the evening or during non windy periods of the day.