Experts issue guidelines for better wheat crop care

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Agriculture experts have advised farmers to apply second water to wheat crops some 80-90 days after sowing at a stage when the fruit is about to bud out of the plants pleading that it would increase the number and size of grains in the fruit.

Any delay or no water at this stage would leave the number of grains lower and size shorter, an agriculture spokesman warned in a statement on Monday.

The spokesman also warned farmers about the risk of Aphid attacks and advised them to perform pest scouting regularly and adopt an integrated pest management plan. He said that Aphid attacks wheat crops in the form of groups and advised farmers to shake the plants by string whenever they notice Aphid so that they fall down. Farmers should also remove weeds from within and around the field as these serve as habitats for pests. They can also apply tools to remove weeds or weedicides like Glyphosate after consulting officials. Farmers can also spray water on plants in intervals in case of an Aphid attack.

Experts further stated that farmers can also introduce crop-friendly pests like ladybirds, Chrysopa, betel, surfed fly, parasites, and spider in the field in case of Aphid attack and can seek the department’s help for this biological control technique. These friendly pests are provided free to farmers from government laboratories functioning in Vehari, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Okara, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Toba Tek Singh, and Faisalabad.

The spokesman said that farmers should also have a few lines of canola on a side of the wheat field to encourage a population of friendly pests against the Aphid.

He advised farmers against the unnecessary application of pesticides adding that it should be done only when unavoidable and in lesser quantity pleading that wheat was a food crop and hence must be free from pesticide residue.—APP