Soybean: An opportunity of USA-China trade war for Pakistan

The year of 2018 clearly embarks the USA-China trade war and voices can be heard from the political portfolios of both countries. In April-2018, President of United States, Donald J Trump introduced new Tariffs on steel and Aluminum related goods of China and various other countries.

In retaliation, China also stepped in trade battle and imposed a 25% tariff on a range of USA goods including Soybean, that is currently in the much firing line and quite a risk for China. This food commodity is feeling the impact of this trade war and is the highest value export commodity of USA worth of US $ 14 billion annually. China is the largest consumer of Soybean, but can’t grow enough, so reliant on imports to meet its demands. In 2017, 57% of the USA exports of Soybean headed to China, that was of the volume of 32 million metric tons. But, the exports to China are going down and have fallen to the volume of 8% in June 2018 only. Although China has 2-year stock of Soybean, the traders are shifting to Brazil and Argentina for fulfilling the demands of the voracious appetite of China and to get lower prices of soybean-associated commodities. Sinograin the stockpiler of the China grains has confirmed that they are going to pay an additional 25% tariff’s (6 million $) on the 70,000 tons of the soybean imported from the USA. The USA wants to secure its business interests, but according to experts, USA farmers will not be able to regain the share of export, lost in this trade war.

[ads-quote-center cite=’Author’]Tassadduq Rasool (Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad)[/ads-quote-center]

China has only 15% arable land, that makes the land precious for China and is capable to produce only 10% of the domestic needs. According to the South China Morning Post, Russia has offered 2.5 million acres (1 million hectares) of land to Chinese farmers and several companies has expressed interest in the cultivation of this land for soybean. China has also imported 8,50,000 tons of soybean from Russia in between July and May last year. The Heilong province of China is getting importance, as it has a suitable environment for soybean cultivation. China needs to ramp up the domestic production and fill the gap. The Government has advised farmers to switch their production from corn to soybean, as the gap created by USA soybean will not be covered easily and it will cost high to Chinese consumers at higher tariffs. China is lagging behind for years for being self-sufficient in Soybean. So it means, they have to be reliant the on others. Soybean is an essential component of Chinese diet and has various uses like cooking oil, sauce tofu, and animal feed. The cancellation of orders of Chinese traders with USA farmers would create an opportunity for growers in Pakistan, as its prices can go up. It can provide sufficient profits comparable to other agricultural outputs. So, limiting the imports of soybean by China from the USA is creating an opportunity for Pakistani farmers, as a new market, as the USA is going to lose its largest customer.

The decline of USA soybean orders from China can be a good opportunity for Pakistani farmers and prospering economic relationship with the neighboring country. According to some analysts, the potential of exports is too high that, there are not sufficient places for China to replace the American soybean soon and Chinese traders would even buy it at higher 25% tariffs from the USA. This trade war is expected to be further intensified, as Washington will impose more tariffs on Chinese goods on August 23, 2018.

Soybean is an edible grain, used to make cooking oil and animal feed. It has gained popularity due to excellent nutritional value, unique composition and health benefits. The protein content is about 40-42% and oil 18-22%. China and Pakistan have proved excellent peaceful neighbors and are working on many grounds to strengthen their relationship, after the CPEC initiative. But, according to Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, we are not producing the goods, that China needs. This is causing a huge trade imbalance, favorable to China but not to Pakistan. Pakistan exports to China are continuously declining, since the 2013-14. While the India-China trade volume is about $ 84.44 billion (2017), as compared to the Pakistan-China bilateral trade volume of about $13.8 billion. Although Pakistan has sufficient soil and water resources and favorable environment for its cultivation, soybean is a neglected crop. It can be cultivated both as zaid rabi and autumn crop. The proposed rotations for soybean cultivation are wheat-soybean-wheat, rice-soybean-rice, and cotton-soybean-cotton in Punjab. I believe, Pakistan has good potential to export soybean, as Chinese demands are too high that, either they will need to restart soybean imports from the USA at higher duties, or they have to cut down their livestock production, under the implying high prices on the domestic market.

HOW TO GROW LEMON BALM

Lemon balm is a perennial herb that grows best in cool weather. Sow lemon balm in spring about the average date of the last frost. Seed can also be sown in late summer. Root divisions can be planted at any time during the growing season. Lemon balm will die back to the ground in freezing weather, but regrow in spring.

Description. Lemon balm is a perennial herb, a member of the mint family. It grows 12 to 24 inches high and about as wide. Lemon balm is shallow-rooted and fast-spreading. It has lemon-scented, oval, toothed leaves, opposite arranged on four-sided stems. Lemon balm flowers in summer; the small white flowers are borne in tight clusters at the leaf axles. Lemon balm is deciduous; it will die back to the ground in freezing weather, but regrow from the roots in spring.

Yield. Grow one lemon balm plant per household.

Site. Plant lemon balm in full; it will tolerate shade. Grow lemon balm in well-drained, sandy loam; lemon balm will grow in almost any soil. It prefers a soil pH of 6.7 to 7.3.

Planting time. Lemon balm is a hardy perennial herb that grows best in cool weather. Sow lemon balm in spring about the average date of the last frost. Seeds can be slow to germinate. Also sow seed in late summer. Root divisions can be planted at any time during the growing season but will become established quicker in cool weather. Cuttings from new growth can be started in moist sand.

Planting and spacing. Sow lemon balm seed ¼ inch deep. Thin successful seedlings to 8 inches apart and later to 18 inches apart. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Lemon balm spreads by underground roots. To keep lemon balm from spreading, set it in the garden in a container that will keep the roots in place. Remove unwanted plants before they become established.

Water and feeding. Lemon balm requires regular, even watering. It grows best in slightly moist soil. Lemon balm does not require extra feeding; side dress plants with aged compost during the growing season.

Companion plants. Broccoli, cauliflower, and other cabbage family plants.

Care. Cut back plants in fall leaving just 2 inches of stem. The plant may freeze back to the ground in winter but will re-grow from underground roots and re-new itself in spring.

Propagation: Seed is slow to germinate; plant self-sows; division

Container growing. Lemon balm can be container grown as an annual. Choose a container 6 to 8 inches deep and wide. Over-winter lemon balm in a protected area such as an unheated garage or patio. Lemon balm easily spreads in the garden; to contain the plant set the herb and container in the garden.

Pests. Lemon balm has no serious pest problems.

Diseases. Lemon balm is susceptible to verticillium wilt and mint rust. Prevent these diseases by removing dead stems and leaves from the garden in winter. Keep plants thinned to promote air circulation.

Harvest. Pinch off and use leaves and sprigs as needed. Leaves for drying are best harvested before the plant flowers in summer, usually about the time lower leaves begin to yellow. At midseason or in autumn, cut back the entire plant and dry the leaves for later use. The plant will regrow in 4 weeks or so in warm weather.

Varieties. ‘Aurea’ is a variegated variety.

Storing and preserving. Leaves can be stripped from stems and dried in a warm shady place. Dried leaves can be stored in an airtight container.

Use: flavoring, tea, liqueurs, sugar extender, attract bees, medicine, perfume

Common name. Lemon balm, sweet balm

Botanical name. Melissa officinalis

Origin. Europe and Asia

 

Lemon Balm Benefits

Latin Name: Melissa officinalis

Also Known As

Cure All, Sweet Balm, Sweet Mary, Melissa, Honey Plant

Origin: Southern Europe

Parts Used

Leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

For more than 2,000 years Lemon Balm has been cultivated as a culinary and medicinal plant. Herbalists in the Renaissance period held this herb in high regard for its healing ability, with many attributing to it the potential for a long life when taken every day in elixir form.

People throughout Europe have been using Lemon Balm for centuries as a digestive aid and to calm frazzled nerves. It was traditionally used to treat headaches, migraines, stomach cramps and urinary infections amongst other things.

Lemon Balm Benefits

Digestive Health

Lemon Balm is what’s known as a “carminative herb”, meaning it can relieve stagnant digestion, ease abdominal cramping, and promote the overall digestive process. The volatile oils in Lemon Balm contain chemicals known as “terpenes” that relax muscles and relieve symptoms such as excess gas.

Lemon Balm contains both “choloretics” and “colagogues”, which may also help with liver and gall bladder problems. Bile is produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and then released into the small intestine to digest fats. A choloretic stimulates production of bile whilst a colagogue enhances the expulsion of bile from the gall bladder. The primary Lemon Balm constituents in these categories are; caffeic acid, eugenol, chlorogenic acid and P-coumaric acid, which enhance the content of digestive juices thus improving the digestion of food.

For digestive relief, Lemon Balm is best consumed as a tea taken immediately after meals.

Anxiety/Insomnia

Lemon Balm contains the active compound “rosmarinic acid” – an enzyme which effectively increases GABA (gamma amino-butyric acid) in the brain. GABA is one of the inhibitory neurotransmitters, used by the brain to prevent over-excitement and attain balance. It is responsible for ensuring that we are not overly stressed and plays a role in sleep cycles. Increasing stimulation of GABA receptors will produce a sedative or calming effect and explains why Lemon Balm works well as an anti-anxiety herb.

The difference between Lemon Balm being an effective anti-anxiety herb and a sleep aid is dosage. It combines extremely well with the herb Valerian, with several studies showing that these two herbs combined can induce a deep and restful night’s sleep.

Neuroprotective

The aforementioned “rosmarinic acid” has also been found to exert neuroprotective effects, helping to protect the cells of the brain thereby potentially slowing down the aging of this all important organ. Researchers in India found that rosmarinic acid reduces free radicals, as well as protecting the nerve cells in the brain from deterioration. Lemon Balm also contains powerful antioxidants such as “eugenol” which intercept free radicals before they can attack brain cells.

Thyroid

Research suggests that the flavonoids, phenolic acids and other compounds found in this versatile herb appear to be responsible for Lemon Balm’s thyroid-regulating actions. Test tube studies have found that Lemon Balm blocks the attachment of antibodies to the thyroid cells that cause Grave’s disease (hyperthyroidism). The brain’s signal to the thyroid (thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH) is also blocked from further stimulating the excessively active thyroid gland in this disease.

Typical Use

Combines well with Valerian and Chamomile.

Recommended Dosage  Powdered, crushed, cut, or whole: 2 grams per day Infusion: 2 grams in 150 ml of boiling water 1:1 Fluid Extract: 2 ml dose per day  1:5 Tincture: 10 ml dose per day .

Folklore and History

Texts describing Lemon Balm can be found as far back as Ancient Turkey, where it was planted near bee hives to encourage the bees to return home to the hive rather than swarm away. It’s name Melissa officinalis” is derived from the Greek word Melissa, meaning honeybee. In Ancient Greece it was planted and used by the beekeepers of the Temple of Artemis to help keep the sacred honeybees content.

A perfume containing Lemon Balm, known as Carmelite Water, was in high demand in Renaissance times due more to practicality than the need to allure through scent. Carmelite Water helped to cover the stench of unwashed bodies as bathing was considered an “opening” for sinful thoughts due to exposure of naked skin to the eyes of the bather. As most people of that time period only bathed once a year, or in some cases once a lifetime, the need for sweet smelling perfumed waters was very high. Carmelite Water also covered the smell of disease (plague), death (from plagues), and filthy living environments (attributors to plague) so rampant at that period of human history.

The Greek physician Dioscorides used Lemon Balm as a medicinal herb, describing it as useful to treat a disordered state of the nervous system.

Constituents

Citronellal, Triterpenens, Geranial, Neral, Rosmarinic acid, Geraniol, Flavonoids, Polyphenols.

Precautions
Lemon Balm should not be used during pregnancy or lactation.

Due to its anti-thyroid action, Lemon Balm should not be taken by people with thyroid conditions without consulting their healthcare professional.

Lemon Balm should not be taken by people on prescription medication for mental health disorders as it can affect the medication. Please consult your healthcare professional.

Lemon Balm can cause drowsiness and should therefore not be consumed prior to operating machinery or driving.

Role of Biotechnology in Agriculture

Biotechnology has become indispensable for crop improvement now a day. The terminology was first used by a scientist named Karoly Ereky in 1919. To manipulate the gene was a dream until There are certain situations where there is no option except to use some protocols of biotechnology to get our solution. The aim of biotechnology is to face the needs of the growing population.

By Mujahid Ali, Dr. Shoaib-ur-Rehman (Horticulture, UAF)

To feed 210 million people in Pakistan has become a challenge. Agriculture and dairy farming is the only option to achieve the task. Its main products are antibiotics and hormones etc. To find genes which control the character is the basic objective of biotechnology. Then to manipulate these, for example, to delete it from its place, to insert it into an organism or to make an alteration in it to modify plant accordingly is the target. The organism whose genetic makeup is changed or modified is called GMOs. It is giving more yield than conventional breeding. In conventional breeding, it takes more time usually years to insert one gene in an organism and even we fail. But Biotechnology can do so in a very short time. Biotechnology even enables us to create a gene of interest. The person involves in this field are called genetic engineers. Recently, about twenty-nine biotechnology-based laboratories are active in Pakistan.

During the years 1996 and 2011, the total surface area of land cultivated with GM crops had increased by a factor of 94, from 17,000 square kilometers (4,200,000 acres) to 1,600,000 square kilometers (395 million acres). 10% of the world’s crop lands were planted with GM crops in 2010. As of 2011, 11 different transgenic crops were grown commercially on 395 million acres (160 million hectares) in 29 countries such as the USA, Brazil, Argentina, India, Canada, China, Paraguay, Pakistan, South Africa, Uruguay, Bolivia, Australia, Philippines, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Mexico and Spain.

Biotechnology is very complex to understand. It is a recent advancement in human welfare. To understand DNA is the first step in getting knowledge of biotechnology. Gene is a part of DNA which control a specific character or influence on it. There is a sequence of nucleotide in it. DNA is mostly present in the nucleus of the cell. To understand markers and primer is also very important. We use molecular markers to find the gene of interest having a specific sequence. Polymer chain reactions (PCR), DNA extraction and Recombinant DNA technology etc. are important to know before starting this technology.

Role of biotechnology in plant protection is vital. We can find genes responsible for disease production. We can delete these genes or genes that produce tolerance in crops can also be inserted. So crops are becoming resistant to insect pest and different pathogens. To date, most genetic modification of foods has primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cottonseed oil. Almost every agronomic crop has been genetically engineered.

Yields and nutritional value has been enhanced through farming biotechnology monetarily on a wide scale for more than 12 years. These yields have been increasing worldwide at rates surpassing some other advances ever of. Agrarian biotechnology has been appeared to increase trim creation by seven to ten times in some developing nations, a long way past the generation abilities of customary horticulture, and the worldwide network is paying heed. In 2007, 12 million agriculturists in twenty-three countries, twelve developing and eleven developed countries planted 252 million sections of land of biotech crops, fundamentally soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola. Eleven a great many these were little or asset poor ranchers in creating nations.

It is not an easy job to deal with genes. It requires a lot of capital to initiate and run biotechnological laboratories. A lot of expertise is needed. It needs much skill personals. Highly technical staff is having a prime requirement. It is much difficult to do experiments and sometimes it can not replaces breeding. Moreover, GM foods are controversial. Developed nations are banning its use for food crops. It causes allergy and other diseases for example cancer. Some social issues are also related to this field. It also causes environmental problems. So, we have to keep balance to move further toward biotechnology programs. 

How to Make the Best Use of Fruits and Vegetable Shops?

Fruits and vegetables are essential for the survival of mankind and since they house nutrients of all kinds, we are safely headed towards a happy & healthy life. The problem lies in the deteriorating quality of products available in Pakistan. Pick any grocery item and all of us will admit that they have noticed at some point in time that the quality they are getting is a big question mark.

Whether it is the physical supermarket or an online fruits and vegetable shop, we face the issue of low-quality everywhere in the country and nobody is willing to find the rightful solution. It results in us not making the best use of the grocery business as customers and as business owners.

In order to shine brightly as a human being and glow everywhere we go, we must improve the flawed system and devise a plan to save ourselves. For instance, online shopping with free shipping makes the best use of an online grocery store. Free home delivery is a luxury and a facility for the end users.

Supermarkets to Lead from the Front

When we talk about buying fruits and vegetables, it mostly refers to the conventional way of shopping. Shopping itself puts a big burden of responsibility on the traditional shop owners, malls, and grocery vendors. Online fruits and vegetable shops are the advanced versions of the physical way of shopping. Online shopping branches out from physical shopping so it is kind of looking up to its predecessor.

By procuring products that are 100% pure and unadulterated, businesses have a chance to save the future of Pakistan. Nothing is worse than playing with the health of the human race. The fact of the matter is that the condition is alarming even in the metropolitan cities like Lahore. The locals and those living in the posh areas face the issue of compromised grocery products. Sadly, most of us don’t even know what we are buying from the market. The taste of simple lentils (Dal) is not the same as it used to be in the past. It’s time to do something about it. Supermarkets must make it part of their portfolio to provide safe and healthy products to the people of Pakistan since each one of us is depending on them.

In developed countries, if someone is found guilty of committing food adulteration, he or she is dealt with harshly. They may face charges in the form of jail time, hefty fines and even punishable by death in some cases. By exhibiting zero tolerance for such offenders, the developed nations are creating a safe environment for their kids to grow up. But, in Pakistan, we don’t even think of it as a crime. The mental deprivation of our own people is immense and, therefore the local supermarkets must take the first step to bridge this gap.

Selling Export Quality Goods Locally

For those who don’t know, Selly.pk is an online vegetable shop and you may place an order with them directly on the phone. The fact that online grocery stores are kicking it up a notch is relieving and praiseworthy. Selly.pk has endorsed the point I mentioned above to full effect by selling the goods that speak of high quality in the truest sense.

Online fruits and vegetable market is running on shops like Selly. Looking to buy fruits online? Save your precious time by logging on to Selly.pk. Sit back and relax after placing the order because the items come to your doorstep within 60 minutes. Their home page narrates their purpose as a fight against food adulteration, and rightly so, they are moving along quite nicely.

It is food for thought for other vendors. By following in the footsteps of honest businesses, we can make a difference in the food industry. Life starts with a healthy breakfast in the morning. The vendors and other shopkeepers must keep that in mind and strive to cater to the kitchen needs.

Malls on the Move

The concept is rather unique but in times when we are advancing in the field of technology and gadgetry at a rapid pace, we can take it in the stride. We see mechanics on wheels i.e. mechanics coming over to fix your vehicles, malls on wheels is a highly similar concept. The 21st century is equipped with initiatives that may seem to be impractical at the start, but prove to be effective afterward.

The idea of mini vegetable shops on wheels with proper hygiene and quality management can bring about the change we need in this sector. We want the present and the future generations to be healthy and that is only possible when quality companies come forward and launch their mini mobile projects. It is time to curb the use of artificial flavors and methods to ripen the fruits and freshen up the veggies. The online vegetable store like Selly.pk procures only 100% pure and undoctored products and they have specialists to perform this job.

Consequently, when we buy fruits and vegetables through any of the available methods, we can demonstrate complete trust in such mobile outlets and no one can question their credibility as the government backs up the entire project. The big brands must set an example for others to follow. Last, but not the least, these mobile shops must be the progressive versions of the common peddlers and the common fruit sellers.

Safe Use of Agricultural chemicals (Pesticides) and Proper Precautions While Operation.

We should not spray the field if the speed of air is 15 kilometres per hours, or branches of tress are moving due to air.

One should not use chemicals frequently in the fields, and before pesticide application we should do pest scouting regarding weeds, diseases, and harmful insect pest, so that beneficial insect may conserve. Farmers should spray their field by using following guidelines.

 Use of Chemicals:

  • We should use only effective and registered chemical against harmful insect pest. Chemical should only be used if weeds, insect pest and other diseases are not controlled through non-chemical means. Take in consideration regarding effectiveness, handling, and use of chemical before application.

Proper Time for Spray:

  • We should not spray the fields before 9 AM and after 4 PM.
  • If wind is blowing, then don’t spray.
  • Spray the field only when insects have crossed Economic Threshold Level (ETL).
  • Use of chemical for operation:
  • Spray machine must be in good condition.
  • Proper monitoring of machine should be done regarding leakage, nozzle etc.
  • Spray should be distributed over field equally.
  • Use that quantity of chemical as mentioned on label.
  • Firstly, fill the half of tank with water, then add chemical in it, then fill rest of tank with water.
  • The height of boom should be 1-1.5 feet above the field.
  • Different nozzles are used for different crops.
  • Must have precautionary or safety attire like mask, gloves, glasses, and rubber shoes.
  • After spray, wash well the machine with water and previous nozzle must be replaced by a new one.

Precautions:Precautions:

  • Don’t spray in wind or during harsh weather means either harsh summers or cold.
  • Spray the field equally.
  • Wash your eyes immediately with cold weather if chemical or their fumes affect them.
  • Consult the Doctor If the problem is not solved.
  • After the recovery, patient should keep away from chemicals.
  • Make a dig in soil and put the empty bottles or cartons of chemicals.
  • Do not use improper and out of order machine.
  • Keep away children, animals, women, and old men from filed during spray.

[ads-quote-center cite=’Authors’]Dr. Faisal Hafeez, Dr. Hafiz Azhar Ali Khan, Aisha Iftikhar, Muhammad Sohaib. Ayub Agriculture Research institute, (AARI) Faisalabad. Institute of Agriculture Sciences, (IAGS) University of The Punjab, Lahore. [/ads-quote-center]

Karma Farm: Modern Hydroponics farm

Karma Farm: Modern Hydroponics farm: Meet Jon and Nat Shaw of Karma Farm in Monkton, MD. Jon turned his passion into a business when he opened Karma Farm in 2009. Today, Karma Farm supplies local farm-to-table restaurants in the Baltimore area with fresh and local produce. When Jon’s son, Nat, developed an interest in hydroponics, Jon saw bringing the LGM™ onto his farm as an opportunity to diversify his crops and welcome his son into the family business. Watch our video profile to learn more about their operations.

BACKGROUND

Jon always had a passion for organic vegetable gardening and, after 45 years, he transformed his hobby into a career and launched Karma Farm.  

Beyond a traditional soil operation, Jon had success with season extension practices including hoop and row houses. The farm became a family endeavor when Jon’s son Nat – a business and sustainability student – discovered the Leafy Green Machine™ and the duo decided to bring it to Karma Farm.

Today, the father-son team run the farm, with Jon farming his traditional land and Nat running the hydroponic operations. With the joint operation, the Shaws provide the Baltimore area’s farm-to-table restaurants with a variety of vegetables, including lettuces, leafy greens, and herbs which they grow year-round in the LGM™.

[ads-quote-center cite=’Jon Shaw, Principle Farmer at Karma Farm’]

I was motivated to become a Freight Farmer because of my desire to turn our family farm into a sustainable business… Our LGM gives us the ability to sustain a broader product line throughout the year and sustain our revenue and employee base over the winter.

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Cotton seed yield and its quality as affected by mineral nutrients and plant growth retardants

 Seed quality is one of the most important factors for stand establishment in cotton (Gossypium sp.), and the use of good quality seeds is therefore essential to obtain an optimum plant population. Conditions prevailing during seed formation can affect the quality of seed produced, and hence crop establishment in the next growing season. These conditions can affect the germination of the seeds and the ability of the seedlings to emerge from soil, these being the most critical stages during the life cycle of cotton plant.

[embeddoc url=”http://agrinfobank.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Cottonseed-yield-and-its-quality-as-affected-by-mineral-nutrients-and-plant-growth-retardants.pdf” download=”all”]

Dams of Agriculture

Dams of Agriculture: All in average about 70% of our population live in rural areas and are directly involved in agricultural activities. And according to media reports the expect increase in population will pt tremendous pressure on water supplies for domestic needs, and particularly agriculture similarly for last few years our country is assail by a big danger the desertification of its agriculture along with drought.

This situation is practically of our own making and partially of climate change.

However, the desertification of fertile soil and the water shortage would probably cause extreme sadness and destruction in domestic and agricultural needs.

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It can only be prevent through a water management emergency and dams. Unluckily Pakistan lack dams and for last few years Pakistan has made no efforts for dam construction whereas India surpass us in this regard. Also the Asian development Bank has reported that Pakistan was on the verge of being classified as a Water Scare country.

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Moreover, at the present Pakistan’s shortage capacity is limited to only 30 days of supply and being a bad news for me and for nation. But for now I can only remind and request authorities to please fill the need of more dams, both run-of- the rivers as well as shortage, to store water for agriculture.

This May prevent a big disaster to enter and improve agricultural reforms.

ZOHRA ALI JAN

Sowing wheat early in cotton field can deliver good yield

MULTAN – Agriculture experts said on Monday that sowing wheat early in standing cotton crop saves time and resources and wheat sown on or before November 15 delivers best production results.

Experts, however, advised farmers to free the field from weeds, and level it and cottonbe picked from all the cotton bolls that are opened before sowing wheat , says a release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department here.

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Farmers should then fill the field with water. Healthy and disease-free seed of wheat be sown at the rate of 60 kilogram per acre. Seed should be treated with some anti-fungus agent before sowing .

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After sowing , farmers should keep the beds wet or moist for better germination.

Wheat sown before November 15 ensures robust growth of shoots.

Experts said that farmers can finish the picking of cotton from the remaining bolls from December 15 to 30 which means they should remove cotton sticks some 30-40 days after the wheat sowing .

However, before embarking on last picking of cotton , farmers should apply 1.5 to two bags of DAP and a bag of Urea per acre and then complete the cotton picking and remove sticks.

Cotton sticks be cut from two inch deep inside the soil. Then farmers should apply one and half bags of Urea per acre in January end or early February.

Wheat sown in cotton field should get first water some seven to ten days after sowing . Second water should be applied in third week of December, third water in second week of January and fourth water in the third week of February.

Quantity of water application can be adjusted in accordance with weather conditions.

This type of wheat sowing reduces weeds growth, however, farmers should apply weedicides after second water after consulting agriculture officials. Farmers do not need to prepare land in case of sowing wheat in standing cotton crop.

In time sowing of wheat enhances wheat production by 50 per cent and cotton production by 15 per cent. It reduces land preparation expenses by 95 per cent and hence become a profitable practice.

Source The Nation