Agriculture has significant importance on financial, social and cultural basis in Pakistan. Wheat has a major role in Pakistan’s economy. Wheat is cultivated on approximately 8.3 million hectares annually which is 36% of the total cultivated area.
In 1990’s with an increase of 45%, wheat production reached up to 21.1 million tons which made Pakistan self-sufficient in food requirements. But in recent years, the changing climate has considerably affected the time of sowing of wheat. To get better wheat production, the most suitable time for sowing is 1st November to 20th November.
According to agriculture experts, wheat sown after 20th November results in 1% decrease in production per day. Our farmers carry on the sowing till January which reduces the yield up to 50%. Hence it is recommended to complete the sowing process before 20th November with a seed rate of 50 kg per acre.
In case of late sowing, from 21st November to 15th December the seed rate should be 60 kg per acre with at least 85% germination rate. In late sowing, seed rate is increased because low-temperature delays seed germination due to which fewer tillers are produced and resultantly short spikes are produced.
By enhancing the seed rate, more tillers will produce which eventually gives a better yield. By maintaining the required seed rate it is easier to control weeds as more wheat plants create an obstacle for weeds to grow.
To get better wheat production it is necessary to level the soil if land leveler is needed then go for that. 2 to 3 ploughings are sufficient followed by planking. It brings the moist soil upward which guarantees fine germination. Apply well rotten dung and manure (8 to 10 tons per acre) to maintain soil fertility and physical condition.
It improves the organic matter content in the soil. In case of unavailability of animal dung, guara, Jantar or any other nitrogen-fixing crops can be grown and mix up in soil before their flowering stage. It should be kept in mind that green manuring should be done two months prior to wheat sowing.
It is proved by experiments that wheat sown by drill have minimum chances of falling because the seed germinates from a depth of 2-3 inches and the roots emerge from that seed have strong attachment with soil particles.
Sowing of wheat by the drill is preferred than broadcasting. With the help of a drill, fertilizer can also be applied with seed simultaneously and increase productivity.
A good quality seed has key importance for getting a good yield, but farmers of our community don’t pay attention to this point. Wheat seed stored in unfavorable conditions at home doesn’t meet the required standard of seed to grow.
It can be considered as a grain but not as a good quality seed for the purpose of growing. New approved varieties of wheat should be sown e.g. Aas 2011, AARI 2011, Galaxy 2013, Ujala 2016, Gold 2016 and Johar 2016.
There are some critical stages of wheat regarding water requirements and unavailability of irrigation at this stage can cause yield loss up to a considerable level.
If total four irrigation’s are available so it is advised that apply the 1st irrigation at tillering stage, 2nd at booting stage, 3rd at anthesis and 4th irrigation at the stage of grain filling. If a farmer has only one irrigation to apply during the whole crop period so it is recommended that apply that irrigation at tillering stage.
Nitrogen fertilizers should be applied in three doses in case of wheats. 1st dose at the time of sowing, second dose at first irrigation and the last one should be applied at second irrigation.
Nitrogenous fertilizers should be applied before the emergence of spike because delayed application results in attack of aphid. Aphid is an important pest of wheat. Some years earlier it is considered that it doesn’t harm wheat crop but due to change in climatic conditions and continuous ignorance it has become a major pest of wheat.
It can be controlled biologically. Ladybird beetle is a good choice because it is a predator of aphid and can control it effectively. Wheat is our staple food so chemical control is generally not suggested for the reason that chemicals also cause damage to beneficial insects which is never desired.
Weeds constitute the single greatest cause of crop loss in Pakistan. Weeds can reduce yield up to 42%. Moreover they compete with the crop for light, water, nutrients and as well as space. The quality of produce from weed infested field is inferior due to mixing of weed seeds with wheat grains.
Weeds also create an obstacle in the cultural practices e.g. harvesting. Weeds grow rapidly in wheat fields therefore integrated weed management should be practiced. Spray in clear days because in low temperature and fog the chemicals effect slows down which may harm the crop.
Chenopodium album, Convolvulus arvensis, Avena fatua and Phalaris minor are important weeds of wheat crop. Generally it is recommended to use sulfosulfuron or mesosulfuron to control all types of weeds.
To fulfill the food demands of ever-increasing population, it is necessary to enhance per acre yield of wheat. By following these instructions farmer community can get enhanced wheat production.