Bahawalpur, Pakistan.

Muhammad S. Cheema and Manzoor Hussain.


Area, production, and average yield of wheat in Pakistan.

Area. The province of Punjab contributes a large share of the area and production of wheat in Pakistan (Table 1). Production is approximately 71-72 % of the total area of Pakistan sown to wheat. Acreage under wheat in Punjab remained equal to that of the previous year because of better canal water supplies at the time of sowing, distribution of more credit to the wheat growers through one-window opportunities, and a decrease in area in 1998-99. The decrease was mainly due to a prolonged dry season from mid October to the end of December that resulted in less planted wheat in the barani rain-fed area of Punjab. This decrease was compensated for by an increase in planting in the canal-irrigated area, but the overall area sown to wheat in Pakistan decreased.

Table 1. Area, production, and average yield of wheat in Pakistan.
   1998-99  1997-98
 Pakistan  Punjab  Pakistan  Punjab
 Area (x 103 ha)  8,229.9  5,934.63  8,354.60  5,934.63
 Production (x 103 tons)  17,853.7  13,212.00  18,694.00  13,807.00
 Average yield (kg/ha)  2,169.37  2,226.25  2,237.57  2,326.51

Production. Wheat production was 17.85 x 106 tons according to the final estimates for the wheat crop in 1998-99. This amount compares to 186.94 x 106 tons produced in the previous year; a decrease of 4.71 %. Less use of fertilizer at sowing, especially phosphatic fertilizers, because of availability; fog during December and January that affected crop growth; and a prolonged dry spell before and during wheat planting are some reasons for the decrease.


Wheat genotypes released during 1999.

The following wheat cultivars were released for general cultivation in the Punjab province of Pakistan in 1999:

Margala-99. Margala is recommended for the rain-fed areas of the Punjab province. The pedigree is 'Opata/BPW 'S'' (CM83398-2M-OY-0M-5Y-0M). Yield and performance are listed in Table 2.

Table 2. Yield and performance of some new cultivars released in 1999 for cultivation in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
   Year  # of locations  Average yield (kg/ha)
     Margala-99  Check (Ch-86)
 1995-96  7  3,897  3,579
 1996-97  4  3,907  3,733
     Oqab-99  Check (Inqlab-91)
 1997-98  26  3,862  3,653
 1998-99  26  3,948  3,785
     Iqbal-99  Check (Inqlab-91)
 1997-98  30  3,212  2,932
 1998-99  26  4,367  4,248

Oqab-99. This cultivar is recommended for the irrigated areas of the Punjab province. Oqab-99 performed very well in normal and late sowing. The pedigree is 'Crow 'S'/NAC//Bow 'S'' (Pb22138-3A-0A-0A-231A-0A). See Table 2 for the yield and performance of this cultivar. Oqab-99 scored 10 MR-MS to leaf rust in 1997-98 and 5 MR-MS and 30 MR-MS to yellow rust in 1997-98 and 1998-99, respectively. The check Pak-81 rated 80 S and 60 S to leaf rust and 60 S and 100 S to yellow rust in 1997-98 and 1998-99, respectively.

Iqbal-99. Iqbal-99 is recommended for medium to late planting in the irrigated areas of the Punjab province. The pedigree of Iqbal-99 is 'Burgus/Sort 12-13//KAL/BB/3/Pak-81' (Pb21912-11A-0A-0A-59A-0A-0A). Yield and performance are listed in Table 2. Iqbal-99 was rated at 20 MR-MS and 10 R-MR to leaf rust and 10 R and 20 MS to yellow rust in 1997-98 and 1998-99, respectively. Genetic analysis indicated that Iqbal-99 has the genes Lr3 and Lr26.



Model Town-A, Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan.


S.Z. Siddiqi, M. Ahmad, L. H. Akhtar, M. Hussain, A. Rashid, G. Hussain, M. Safdar, and M.M. Akhtar.


Population and food requirements of Punjab and Pakistan.

Wheat is the most important staple food of the Pakistanis. Pakistan is an agricultural country with 130.58 x 10^7^ people, and the population is increasing very rapidly. Among the four provinces of Pakistan, Punjab has the highest population of 72.585 x 10^7^ (354 people/km2). Approximately 69.7 % of the people live in rural areas that directly or indirectly are engaged in agriculture. The growth rate of the population is 3.1 % annually, and the government is facing the challenge of feeding this population. The growth rate of agricultural production is slower than the population growth rate. The population for the years 2003, 2013, and 2023 are estimated to be as high as 168, 231, and 315 x 10^7^, respectively. The food-grain requirement for these populations would be 27, 37, and 51 million tons/year in 2003, 2013, and 2023, respectively. A yield gap of 72 % has been reported between the potential (6.4 tons/ha) and the average yield of wheat (1.8 tons/ha) in Pakistan.

Area, production, and wheat yields. Pakistan is the 7th largest wheat producer, accounting for 2.73 % of the world's wheat production from an area of 3.57 % of the world. Punjab is the main wheat producer in Pakistan. During 1998-99, total wheat production in Pakistan was 17,853.7 tons, and 74.0 % of the total or 13,212 tons were produced in Punjab on a total of 72.1 % or 5,934.6 ha of the total national wheat-growing area (8,229.9 ha). The average yield in Punjab (2,226 kg/ha) is 2.77 % higher than the Pakistan average (2,166 kg/ha). The irrigated area of Punjab (5,205.8 ha) produces 12,589.7 tons of wheat, and in the unirrigated area (728.8 ha) produces 1,217.3 tons. The average yield in irrigated areas is 2,418 kg/ha or 44.79 % higher than the 1,617 kg/ha yield in unirrigated areas.

Over the last 13 years, the area under wheat in Punjab has expanded up to 15.8 % or 7.118 x 10^6^ ha in the irrigated areas, whereas the area in production in the rain-fed zones has declined 14.2 % or 1.202 x 10^6^ ha. Food grains (wheat, rice, millets, maize, and barley) occupy about 54 % (12.554 x 103 ha) of the total (23.040 x 10^3^ ha) cropped area of Pakistan. The share of wheat in Rabi crops comes to 73 %, compared to 7 % for pulses and 20 % for other crops in Pakistan. In the wheat-producing areas of the Punjab, cotton-wheat and rice-wheat rotations are mainly followed. A maize-wheat rotation also is important in central Punjab.


Wheat breeding.

Two wheat crossing blocks consisting of 350 entries each are maintained at the institute for use of the wheat-breeding program. Three nurseries were received from CIMMYT (109 entries in total) during 1998-99 from which 27 lines were selected for yield trials during 1999-2000. About 462 crosses were attempted; 611 F1 and 365 F2 entries were harvested for the F2 and F3 generations. Out of 1,931 entries in the F3 to F7, 137 lines were selected for yield trials during 1999-2000.

Station wheat yield trials (A Trials). About 176 promising bread wheat lines along with commercial checks were tested in 11 preliminary yield trials (six normal and five of short duration). Each trial consisted of 14 lines and two checks. In all these trials, most of the new strains significantly outyielded their respective checks.

Regular yield trials (B Trials). Sixty-six promising wheat lines along with commercial checks were tested in seven regular yield trials (three normal and four of short duration). Each trial consisted of eight lines and two checks. Many of the new lines had higher yields than the checks.

Advanced yield trials (C Trials). Twenty promising wheat lines were evaluated in two advanced yield trials (one normal and one of short duration) and compared with the checks. Each trial consisted of 10 new strains and two checks. The performance of a few of the strains and checks is in Table 1.

Table 1. Performance of new strains of wheat in advanced yield trials during 1998-99 at the Regional Agricultural Research Institute, Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan.
 Variety / strain  Yield (kg/ha)  % increase over check
 C1 Trial
 96B2024  5,933  12.3
 96B2023  5,883  11.4
 96B2025  5,600  6.0
 96B2082  5,567  5.4
 94B3043  5,387  2.0
 Parwaz-94 (check)  5,283  
 C2 Trial
 96B2024  3,258  15.7
 96B2023  3,187  13.1
 94B3043  3,129  11.1
 96B2025  3,050  8.3
 Inqlab-91 (check)  2,817  


Prospective wheat varieties with a potential for release.

During 1999, the Experts Sub-Committee gave their final approval for general cultivation, and some newly developed wheat varieties were recommended by the Punjab Seed Council, including RARI-2000, Bahawal-2000, Eagle-99, and Iqbal-99.

RARI-2000. This line was selected from an early maturing screening nursery received from CIMMYT (Mexico) during 1984-85 and given the number V-7061. This line was tested and evaluated in various yield trials at different locations in preliminary and advanced yield trials (1985-88), the Micro Wheat Yield Trials (1988-89), and National Uniform Wheat Yield Trials (1989-90 to 1993-94). V-7061 had 8.12 % and 21.5 % higher grain yields compared to the check Faisalabad-85 in both the Micro and National Wheat Trials, respectively. Production technology also was developed. The yield potential of V-7061 is 5,000 kg/ha. This genotype is being considered for general cultivation for medium to late planting for the southern Punjab under the name of RARI-2000. Derived from Aurora, a Russian line, RARI-2000 has the pedigree of 'AU/UP301//GLL/Sx/3/PEW'S'/4/MAT'S'/MAYA'S'//PEW'S' (CM.67245-C-2M-OY). The variety is 100 cm tall and awned, with hard and white-amber grain, a 1.000-kernel weight of 40 g, and a test weight of 79 kg/ha. RARI-2000 is lodging resistant and has better yield, quality, and resistance to disease than the checks.

Bahawal-2000. Bahawal-2000 is a local cross between Punjab-85 and Neelkant (NKT) attempted in 1990-91, and the pedigree is BR2194-12B-OB. The F1, F2, and F3 were raised between 1991-94. Seed was bulked in the F3 and given the code number V-2707. The bulk was tested in preliminary and advanced yield trials during 1994-95 and 1995-96 and in the Micro Wheat Yield Trials during 1996-97. V-2707 yielded 3.36 and 1.29 % higher than the checks Inqlab-91 and Parwaz-94, respectively. During 1997-98 and 1998-99, V-2707 was evaluated throughout Pakistan in the National Uniform Wheat Yield Trials, where it yielded 6.54 % higher than Inqlab-91 and 16.6 % higher than the local check and ranked second on the basis of 26 locations. Advantages over those of checks include NKT parentage, more productive tillers per unit area, resistance to rusts, and better chapati-making quality. V-2707 is being recommended for general cultivation for medium duration in southern Punjab under the name Bahawal-2000. The variety is 90-cm tall and is lodging resistant. Bahawal-2000 has a 1,000-kernel weight of 41.7 g and a test weight of 75.3 kg/ha and is resistant to all foliar diseases. The yield potential of Bahawal-2000 is 6,833 kg/ha.


Entomology-Helicoverpa armigera infestation on various wheat varieties.

Muhammad Saleem and Abdur Rashid.

Insect infestations of wheat have not been of serious concern in the past. Unfortunately, wheat has suffered from regular infestations of H. armigera during the last 2 years. The larvae seriously injure the developing seeds during March and April. One caterpillar is estimated to eat 2-4 grains in 24 hours. Therefore, studies were conducted at the Regional Agricultural Research Institute, Bahawalpur, to elucidate the effects of H. armigera infestation on wheat grain yield during 1997-98. Eight wheat strains/varieties (Parwaz-94, Shahkar-95, Punjab-96, Bahawalpur-97, V-7506, V-7394, V07398, and V-7061) were sown in two trials (protected and unprotected). Chlorpyrefos at 2 l/ha was sprayed on the protected trial during the first and third weeks of March to control the H. armigera population. A randomized complete block design with three replications was used. Caterpillar infestation was recorded on both trials at 10-day intervals from March to the second week of April by selecting 30 tillers from each plot at random. At maturity, the yield data were taken, and percent loss were calculated. Data were analyzed statistically. The means were compared by Duncan's multiple range test and are given in Table 2. The results revealed significant differences among wheat varieties/strains for H. armigera infestation. Maximum infestation was found in Shahkar-95, followed by Punjab-96, V-7394, V-7061, and V-7398. The variety V-7506 was the least infested. On average, a single caterpillar per tiller caused a 13.98 % loss in grain yield.

Table 2. Helicoverpa armigera infestation on various wheat varieties grown in protected trials at the Regional Agricultural Research Institute, Bahawalpur in 1997-98.
 Variety / strain  Average no. caterpillar/tiller  Loss in grain yield (%)
 Parwaz-94  0.10 d  3.30 ab
 Shahkar-95  0.37 a  4.57 a
 Punjab-96  0.30 ab  2.97 ab
 Bahawalpur-97  0.13 cd  1.80 b
 V-7506  0.08 d  2.43 ab
 V-7394  0.25 b  3.60 ab
 V-7398  0.22 bc  2.40 ab
 V-7061  0.24 b  2.57 ab
 Average  0.21  2.96
 Cd1  0.0989  2.090
 Cd2  0.1335  2.907