Useful tips for wheat production

1. Moisture should be conserved during monsoon by using deep tillage technology.

2. Resistant improved wheat varieties should be planted.

3. Treat the seed with recommended fungicides to control seed borne diseases.

4. Irrigations at the time of tillering and grain formation are critical.

5. Planting must be finished before Nov. 30 to obtain maximum yield.

6. Nitrogenous and Phosphatic fertilizers should be used in a ratio of 1:1 or 1: 1-1/2 .

7. Potassium fertilizer must be used if wheat is planted after rice or sugarcane and in sandy soils which had continuously been irrigating by tube well water.

8. Weeds must be destroyed by using chemical weedicides.

9. Harvesting should be done few days earlier in case of semi dwarf improved varieties to avoid shattering damages. 


The country has been divided into twelve different production zones. The zoning is mainly based on disease prevalence, yield potential, cropping pattern and climatological factors (zones are shown on the map).

It is very important that different varieties should be planted before the dates given in front of each variety. In case planting is delayed, broadcast method of planting with 4-5 kgs more seed rate than normal seed rate is recommended.

Certified seed should be used which can be obtained from Punjab Seed Corporation, Sindh Seed Corporation, Agriculture Development Authority in NWFP.

Agricultural Department in Balochistan, Agriculture Development Corporation depots and other seed agencies.

In other case, use only healthy seed which is obtained from healthy crop. Detail of different zones, diseases, recommended varieties, planting time and seed rate is shown in table-1:


Deep ploughing should be used by sub soiler or mould board if sub soil is hard. 

2-3 ploughings are recommended where chronic weeds are present. If possible Dab method should be used. 

Rotavator should be used in proper moisture if tractor facility is available. Soil should become well pulverized and planker can be used for this purpose. 

Moisture conservation by using mold board in rainfed areas has been very successful in obtaining good yield. 

In case of limited water in plains, field should be divided into sub-plots. 

Field boundaries should be made strong. Rat holes should be closed and pruning of trees should be done in the farm to avoid shade effects to the crop. 


Barani Areas:

Drill or poring method is recommended for planting in barani areas. Planker should not be used if planting is done by “Pora”. All fertilizer should be applied before planting. Pre-soaking treatment to the seed should be given for 8-12 hours if moisture is limited. Water used for this purpose should be free of salts which otherwise can affect seed germination. 

Irrigated Areas:

Seed should not be placed more than two inches when semidwarf improved varieties are planted. The best results have been obtained in planting by drill because uniform and proper germination is obtained in this method. Second method of planting in “Kera” should be used in proper moisture to obtain better results. Good results could not be achieved through broad cast, but if there is no other solution except this one then 4-5 kgs more seed rate is recommended in this method. Dry sowing can also be done if planting is late and irrigation can be applied after planting. Dry sowing should only be done after December, 15 where water availability is limited. Seed should not be put more deep in this case. 


Seed can be treated with Benlate, Vitavax 200 or Topson-M at the rate of 2.5 gms/kg seed or Derosal at the rate of 1.0 gms and/or Raxil 2DC at the rate of 1.50 gms/kg seed. Seed treatment can be done by using Drum with cover or shaking in the plastic bag. 


In general both nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers are of Primary importance to obtain good yields of wheat crop. It has been found, through experimentation, that both N and P must be in a proper balance in the ratio of 1:1 or at the most 1:1-1/2. Potassium sulphate should also be used at the rate of 12-15 kgs potash/acre (1/2 bag of Potassium sulphate) when wheat is planted after rice and sugarcane. The use of potash also becomes important in sandy weak soil which had been continuously irrigating with tube well water. 

The whole quantity of phosphatic and half of nitrogenous fertilizer should be applied at seeding time while the remaining half of nitrogenous fertilizer be applied with first irrigation. In case phosphatic fertilizer is not applied at the time of planting this can be applied with first irrigation. 

The whole quantity of Nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers should be used at planting time in rainfed areas. If somehow nitrogenous fertilizer was not applied at planting time, this can be applied at first rain. PH value of the most of the soils in Punjab has increased from 8.2 which is affecting fertilizer uptake efficiency of the soils. GYPSUM is recommended in such affected soils. 


In general our soils are deficient in organic matter and this situation is getting worst day by day. Therefore it is very important that proper crop rotation and green manure/farm yard manure should be used in our soils. This helps in the development of plant and increases water absorbing capacity of the soil. Root development become more vigorous. Guara and Jantar are good crops for green manuring. Guara has produced good results in irrigated areas whereas Jantar is recommended for saline soils and after rice. Arhar can be used for green manuring in barani areas. 

Crop rotation for barani areas : Wheat-Fodder-Wheat 


Crop rotation for plains : Wheat-Cotton-Sugarcane 


Depending on soil conditions, 8-10 cart load of well rotten farm yard manure should be used. 


Wheat plant has two critical stages for its water requirements. The first is at tillering stage which starts about a week after emergence. The first irrigation should therefore, be applied not later than 12-18 days after seeding. In rice growing areas the sub-soil is usually saturated with moisture as moisture retention power of the soil is high. The first irrigation in these areas should be delayed as long as possible. In many cases it may even be more than a month after emergence. 

The second critical stage is between anthesis and grain formation when irrigation is necessary. The remaining irrigations depending on rainfall should be well distributed between different growth stages. Generally 4-6 irrigations are applied to the wheat crop. The irrigation requirements in case of semi dwarf improved varieties is at the following growth stages.

1. At crown root initiation. 

2. Tillering stage 

3. Late jointing stage. 

4. At flowering 

5. Grain formation 

6. Dough stage. 

Among above mentioned stages, three stages are very critical.

1. Crown root initiation. 

2. Boot stage. 

3. Milk and dough stages.

Depending upon the availability of water following irrigation schedule can be applied. 

Four irrigations. 
1. Crown root initiation. 

2. Tiller completion. 

3. Booting Stage. 

4. Milk stage. 

Five irrigations. 
1. Crown root initiation. 

2. Tiller completion. 

3. Late jointing. 

4. Flowering stage. 

5. Milk stage. 

Six Irrigations. 
1. Crown root initiation. 

2. Tiller completion. 

3. Late jointing. 

4. Flowering stage. 

5. Milk stage. 

6. Dough stage. 

Limited irrigation. 

One irrigation. 1. Crown root initiation. 

Two irrigations 
1. Crown root initiation. 

2. Boot stage. 

Three irrigation 
1. Crown root initiation. 

2. Boot stage. 

3. Milk stage. 


Weeds can significantly reduce wheat yield. Although crop rotation can reduce the population of weeds, a large amount of weed seeds still remains in the fields. For better control, barharrow and weeding should be done. Weeding become more easy if wheat is grown on seed beds 45 cm apart. The distance between two lines on a seed should be 15 cm. This method of planting does not affect plant population and wheat yield per acre. Other method of weed control is used of chemical weedicides. Weeds should be removed from the fields within 4-6 weeks of seeding. Agriculture experts have recommended the following weedicides mentioned in Table-4. Recommended dose should be applied with 120 liters of water after first irrigation at proper moisture. If sprayer is not available at proper time then all the powdry weedicides could be applied with sand at proper moisture after first irrigation or mixed with urea and then irrigate.


1. Clean parts of field where crop is not lodged should be selected to keep as seed. Harvesting and threshing of that field should be done separately to avoid any mixture. 

2. Harvesting should be done 2-3 days earlier in case of semi dwarf improved varieties. 

3. Harvesting should be done when grain moisture is around 16-17 percent. 

4. Grain should be dried properly to bring down moisture at 9-10 percent before storage. 

5. If possible use thresher or combine to be more efficient and avoid losses. 

6. Seed should be stored in proper clean stores to avoid insect damage. Fumigation should be done in the seed stores. 

7. Use clean bags for storage. 

Resource Person:
Dr. Nafees Sadiq Kisana National Coordinator