Effect of bed planting and zero tillage on productivity and water use of Irrigated maize - wheat cropping system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan


Imtiaz Hussain

Muhammad Imtiaz

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Open Access

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Crop establishment methods like broadcasting of wheat and manual planting of maize on flat surface coupled with flood irrigation are used in irrigated maize–wheat system of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province that requires skilled labor, intensive tillage and more water for irrigation. In this study, zero tillage and bed planting effect in comparison with farmer practice on maize-wheat system productivity was evaluated at five sites in district of Nowshera, KP province during 2014-2016. Maize grain yield with bed planting and manual planting on flat surface were non-significantly different. Because of weed infestation, there was 30 percent lower maize grain yield with zero till planted maize in comparison with bed planting and farmer practice. Zero till drill planted wheat after maize crop had higher grain yield in comparison with mechanized bed planting and farmer practice of broadcasting in 2014-15 and 2015-16 wheat season. Because of higher maize grain yield, maize–wheat system productivity was significantly higher with bed planting and farmer practice in comparison with Zero tillage. Bed planting of maize had 20 – 30 percent higher water use efficiency (WUE) in comparison with flat planting of farmer practice in both the years. Overall comparison of maize – wheat cropping system showed that there were 16 and 22 percent water saving with bed planting in comparison with other practice in 2014-15 and 2015-16 cropping cycle, respectively. The study showed that farmer practice of manual planting of maize and broadcasting of wheat can be replaced with bed planting of maize and zero till drill planting of wheat, respectively to save water, labor and improve maize-wheat system productivity and water use efficiency.

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Repositorio Institucional de Publicaciones Multimedia del CIMMYT




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