Farming

Wheat Crop Overview

Wheat is the leading food grain of Pakistan and being the staple diet of the people and occupies a central position in agricultural policies. Wheat contributes 10.3 percent to the value added in agriculture and 2.2 percent to GDP. Wheat area sown increased to 9039 thousand hectares in 2013-14, from 8660 thousand hectares showing an increase of 4.4 percent over last year’s area. The production of wheat stood at 25.3 million tonnes during 2013-14, against the revised target (FCA) of 25.0 million tonnes which is 1.2 percent more than the target, compared to last year’s production an encouraging growth of 4.4 percent witnessed over production of 24.2 million tonnes. The overall increase in area sown is attributed to the attractive market rates and area was also available due to early maturity of cotton crop. The production increased due to increase in area cultivated and timely rainfall at regular intervals and favourable weather condition suitable for healthy grain. Area, Production and Yield of Wheat
Introduction

Wheat is the most popular food crop of Pakistan. Wheat being the staple diet of most of the people of Pakistan it dominates all crops in acreage and production .We use wheat and its products in a number of ways. It accounts for over 70 % of the gross cereals and over 36 % of the country’s acreage is devoted to wheat cultivation. Wheat is being cultivated in our country from ancient times. According to some experts wheat was first cultivated in the Indus Valley. Pakistan is the 4th largest producer of wheat in Asia and stands 11th in world production.
Favorable Conditions for Its Growth

Temperature:

Wheat is essentially a temperate crop requiring moderate heat and moisture. In Pakistan it is a rain (winter) crop. It is cultivated in the month of October and November. The temperature then is between 50 degree and 60 degree F which is most suitable for wheat growth while it is harvested at the end of April or early in May when the temperature is between 80 degree F and 100 degree F. This high temperature helps in the ripening of the crop.

Water:

For wheat cultivation, rain must come during the period of growth and sunny conditions should prevail at the time of ripening. Minimum rainfall required during the growing season is 20 “.Rainfall is no way should exceed 40 “.In Pakistan the average annual rainfall is less than 20 ” which is insufficient. Thus wheat is mostly grown by means of irrigation. Due to lack of irrigational facilities Baluchistan and Postwar plateau depend exclusively on rainfall. However the yield per acre of the rain fed fields is about half that of irrigated fields.

Soil:

Wheat is known to grow on a varioty of soils but it does best in the well-drained clayey loams having plenty of humus.Hence the dark coloured chernozems of the temperate grasslands like that of Pakistan are the most suitable soils.

Kinds of Wheat:

There are two main types of wheat:
Vulgare or Sharbati:
It is widely cultivated and is prized for common bread.

Durum:

It has local importance and is mostly used for making of Suji (Semolina) and Sewian (Vermicelli).
Wheat Producing Centers of Pakistan:

Wheat is cultivated in all the four provinces of Pakistan. Punjab and Sindh provinces however rank at the top. The plain areas of Punjab and Sindh provinces have alluvial soil brought by River Indus and its tributaries. These rivers further increase the fertility of the soil by adding a number of organic and in-organic matters brought by them from various areas of our country .The plain areas of Punjab and Sindh provinces have insufficient rainfall. This deficiency has been made up by providing canals and other irrigational facilities. The temperate climate aids wheat production in Sindh and Punjab.
Punjab:

The province of Punjab ranks at the top in the production of wheat. The upper Indus plain accounts for 70 % of the total wheat of our country. Canal fed fields produce 2/3 and the rest comes from the rain fed fields. The main wheat growing divisions are: Sargodha, Faisalabad, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Lahore, Sahiwal, Shaikhupura and Sialkot.
Black stem rust of wheat

Causal Organism: Puccinia graminis tritici Symptoms: Long and narrow streaks or pustules are formed on all green parts of the plant viz: stem, leaf sheath, leaves and ear heads. These pustules are brick red in the beginning and become black at the end of the season or when plants reach maturity. Moist and warm weather favour the development of this disease, which usually appears at the heading stage. Perpetuation: The disease starts from wind-borne spores, which probably travel from hills to plains. The fungus completes its life cycle on barberry plants in Murree. Control:

1. Cultivation of resistant varieties.
2. Cultivation of early sowing and early maturing varieties.
3. Avoiding thick sowing and heavy irrigation.
4. Destroying the weed plants and diseased tillers.
5. Avoiding heavy doses of nitrogenous fertilizers.
6. Judicious use of potassic fertilizer help in minimising the susceptibility of plants.
Orange or leaf rust of wheat Causal Organism: Puccinia recondita

Symptoms: Small pustules are formed scattered chiefly on the surface of leaves, very rare elsewhere. These pustules are orange or brown in the beginning and become black, when plants reach maturity. Moist and moderate temperature (18-20c°), favour the development and spread of this disease, which appears earlier than black stem rust. Perpetuation: The disease starts from wind-borne spores, which probably travel from hills to plains. The fungus completes its life cycle on barberry plants in Murree. Control:

1. Cultivation of resistant varieties.
2. Cultivation of early sowing and early maturing varieties.
3. Avoiding thick sowing and heavy irrigation.
4. Destroying the weed plants and diseased tillers.
5. Avoiding heavy doses of nitrogenous fertilizers.
6. Judicious use of potassic fertilizer help in minimising the susceptibility of plants. Yellow or stripe rust of wheat