EFFECT OF SOWING METHODS ON WHEAT PRODUCTION IN POTOHAR, PAKISTAN
The water productivity under rainfed condition may be affected by a multitude of factors including soil moisture at sowing time, quality of wheat seed, soil fertility and delayed rainfall, etc. However, this study focused on yield and water productivity effects in different sowing methods of wheat crop under rainfed condition. The study was conducted during two-consecutive wheat growing seasons in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 at Fath-e-Jang in Potohar region of Pakistan. Three sowing methods 1: flat (involving broadcasting prior to flat cultivation), 2: ridge (65 cm furrow spacing with two rows) and 3: bed (soil piled up and cv. 130 cm flattened on top, having five wheat rows 15 cm apart) were evaluated for winter wheat crop (Ujala) for yield and water productivity. The three treatments were replicated thrice using randomized complete block design. The results indicated substantial saving of irrigation time in bed irrigation and ridge irrigation methods as compared to flat. The results showed that the overall average time to irrigate bed and ridge method of sowing was 24 and 17.5% less as compared to flat sowing method due to less water losses. The germination count (plants m-2) was significantly higher (29% and 20%) in bed and ridge, respectively as compared to flat sowing method. The results indicated a significant difference in grain yield among the treatments. The highest grain yield was achieved in bed sowing (4.95 tons ha-1) which is 16.36% higher than flat sowing method. The results showed water productivity for bed (33%) and ridge sowing (16%) higher when compared with flat sowing method, respectively for season 2015-16. A similar trend was observed in 2016-17, where the water productivity of bed (28%) and ridge sowing (17%) was higher as compared to flat sowing method. This study indicates increasing wheat productivity for bed sowing method than traditional flat sowing method under rainfed area of Potohar.