Punjab farmers start sowing wheat as paddy harvesting crosses 60%

By Anju Agnihotri Chaba

While Punjab has completed more than 60% of its paddy harvesting, the wheat sowing season has already started in the state. The ideal time for sowing wheat in Punjab is between November 1 and 15.

Agronomy experts from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) are urging the state’s farmers to select the right wheat variety to maximise yields and complete wheat sowing by November 15. The beginning of wheat sowing has put farmers in a rush to clear their fields as swiftly as possible to ensure timely wheat sowing.

Punjab is expecting to procure over 19 million tonnes of paddy this year, with 10.5 million tonnes already arriving in the state’s mandis by November 1.

“I harvested paddy on 11 acres and now I have started sowing wheat. I’ll complete the process in the coming week while managing the stubble through both in-situ and ex-situ methods,” said farmer Devinder Singh from Tarn Taran.

Aother farmer Talwinder Singh from Jalandhar added that he too has started sowing wheat on the vacant fields while in some areas, paddy harvesting is yet to be done.

“I do farming on 50 acres, including five of my own and the remaining land is on rent. But this time, I have decided not to burn the stubble. I am managing it through super seeder and will be making bales of the stubble as several dairy people purchase it for cattle fodder,” he added.

Meanwhile, PAU vice-chancellor Satbir Singh Gosal urged farmers to sow PAU-recommended wheat varieties for enhanced productivity and profitability. He said that wheat requires low and mild temperatures (with a maximum of 15-22°C and a minimum of 4-11°C) with low humidity during its early stages, which promotes better tillering.

He added that the first 15 days of November is the best time to sow wheat. He said that delayed sowing can reduce wheat grain yield by 1.5 quintals per acre per week.

MS Bhullar, head of the department of agronomy, highlighted the importance of selecting the right variety in addition to the timing of sowing. He recommended the sowing of long-duration wheat varieties such as PBW 869, PBW 824, Sunehri (PBW 766), PBW 725, PBW 677, Unnat PBW 343, PBW Zinc 2, PBW 1 Chapati, PBW 1 Zn, DBW 187, and HD 3226 starting from October 25. For the best yield, he suggested sowing PBW 826 and PBW 803 varieties from November 1. Bhullar emphasised that PBW 869 is the most suitable variety when wheat is sown with a Happy Seeder or Smart Seeder, with paddy straw retained on the surface. Sowing short-duration varieties such as PBW RS 1 and Unnat PBW 550 should commence in the second week of November. However, early sowing of PBW RS1 and Unnat PBW 550 varieties, followed by frost in the first fortnight of January, may lead to spikelet sterility and reduced yield, he said.

Director of Punjab Agriculture department Jaswant Singh Brar said that wheat sowing has started in the state and they are getting the reports from the fields. He said that his entire focus currently is on controlling stubble burning.

This article has been republished from The Indian Express

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