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2014-15 Wheat Crop Estimates

wheat harvest

SUPARCO released final wheat estimates of Rabi 2014-15 with area at 9.523 million ha, yield at 2831 kg/ha and production at 26.955 million tons. The production of wheat crop of Punjab province is 20.185 million tons, Sindh 4.473 million tons, Khyber Pakhtunkhaw 1.588 million tons and Balochistan 0.709 million tons.

The early months during Rabi season were generally dry. There were frequent rains during February to April. The cumulative rainfall was 450 mm in Islamabad, 200-300 mm in Central Punjab and 100-150 mm in the Southern Punjab. The cumulative rainfall in Parachinar was 1100 mm and it tapered in the South. Balochistan received rains mainly during April. Rainfall in Sindh ranged from 20-40 mm.

The negative factors for wheat production this year include high winds and localized hailstorms. The tall growing cultivars mainly in Punjab and KP were prone to lodging. The agricultural research institutions are advised to develop dwarf varieties to avoid such a risk in future.

The positive factors plentifully outweigh the negative factors of wheat production. The experience shows that shrinking of wheat grain is a problem in some years. This limits crop yields as a consequence. The shrinking phenomenon is generally triggered by stress factors as irrigation shortage/ moisture deficiency, low phosphate availability and heat wave (temperatures above 35OC) at grain filling stage.

The current Rabi season was highly favorable for the wheat production. The cumulative irrigation water supply (28.17 MAF) was higher by 4.6 percent than last year and second highest during the last five years. The phosphate application during October-January (527.2 thousand tons) was the highest in five years. The maximum temperatures during last fortnight of March in upper parts of Punjab and KP poised at less than 20OC and in southern parts at less than 29OC. These temperatures are highly favorable for filling of grains and increasing productivity of the crop. The statistics on phosphate applications and irrigation water supply are given below:

phosphate chart irrigation water supply table

Peak NDVI Profile/Photosynthetically active period

The NDVI profiles of Rabi season show an excellent performance of wheat crop. The satellite data support the observations made in the previous paragraphs:

ndvi profiles
Interpretation of the above NDVI profiles ndvi peaks

The current seasonal profile for provinces indicates the highest NDVI values of 0.6 for Punjab, 0.43 for Sindh, 0.53 for KP and 0.48 for Balochistan. These values are higher than last year's values of 0.54 for Punjab, 0.38 for Sindh, 0.43 for KP and 0.39 for Balochistan. The crop growth pattern/ photosynthetic efficiency for Punjab plateaued during 11th February to 1st March (49 days). Similar situation was observed for Sindh during 11th February to 10th March (28 days) and KP during 1st March to 31st March (31 days). The peak NDVI values in Balochistan was observed during 1st February to 20th March (48 days). The prolonged peak crop growth pattern is exceptional for this year.

Sunshine hours for wheat season 2014-15
The number of sunshine hours in this study were adopted from Pakistan Meteorology Department.

Months of study for various regions sunshine_table (17K)

The quantum of sunshine hours are highly favorable to ensure good wheat crop growth and productivity.

Sunshine hours for the above periods for various stations sunshine_table2 (34K)

The peak period of photosynthetic activity prolonged appreciably and the number of sunshine hours were much higher than the requirement.

The data on growing degree days were also substantially high:

gdd_rabi_table (48K)

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