Fertilizers available in Pakistan

The sources of fertilizer supply in Pakistan are domestic production and imports.

Those manufactured locally include urea, calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and ammonium sulphate (AS) as straight nitrogen fertilizers.

Single superphosphate is the only straight phosphate fertilizer and nitrophos is NP, a complex fertilizer.

All other fertilizers are imported. Recently the production of SSP and AS has been stopped due to high cost of production.

These were very good fertilizers and in future, farmers of Pakistan will have no access to them. The grades of fertilizers available in Pakistan are listed in Table-2

Urea
This is the most concentrated solid straight nitrogen fertilizer. Its prills or granules are white in colour and free flowing. Urea is readily soluble in water.

It contains 46 per cen N in amide (NH2) form which is changed to ammonium (NH4+) in the soil.

Because of its high water solubility, it is well suited for use in solution fertilizers or foliar sprays. Urea though alkaline in initial reaction leaves behind a slightly acidic effect in the soil after nitrification.

Common name Grade or Analysis (%)
N P2O5 K2O Sulphur
Nitrogenous fertilizers
Urea 46 0 0 0
Ammonium sulphate 21 0 0 24
Calcium ammoniumNitrate (CAN) 26 0 0 0
Phosphatic fertilizers
Single Superphosphate (SSP) 0 18 0 12
Triple superphosphate (TSP) 0 46 0 1.5
Diammonium phosphate (DAP) 18 46 0 0
MonoammoniumPhosphate (MAP) 11 52 0 2
Potassic fertilizers
Sulphate of potash (SOP) 0 0 50 18
Muriate of potash (MOP) 0 0 60 0
Complex fertilizers
Nitrophosphate(Nitrophos) 23 23 0 0
Complete NPKs 15 15 15 5
  10 20 20 6.8
  13 13 21 6.0
Micronutrients
Zinc sulphate (Zn 36.0 %)     0 17.8

 

It also contains a small amount of free acid and sulphur. Its production has been stopped in the country due to high cost. Single superphosphate (SSP) Ammonium sulphate (AS) 
Ammonium sulphate was one of the most important N-fertilizers but because of its low nutrient content and relatively high manufacturing cost its production and Daud Khel has been stopped. It contains 21% of N and 24% of sulphur.

Ammonium sulphate is a white crystalline salt but sometimes, it might have a grey, brown, red or yellow tint, which has no effect on its nutrient value. It is soluble in water and nitrogen in this fertilizer is readily available to crops. This fertilizer has an acidifying effect, therefore, its continuous use may be advantageous on alkaline soils.

Calcium Ammonium nitrate (CAN)
This fertilizer contains 26% N, half of it is in ammoniacal form and half in nitrate form. Its granules and prills are grey or light brown in colour and free flowing. The whole fertilizer is not soluble in water because of calcium but the nitrogen part is readily soluble. By virtue of the calcium in this fertilizer, it is approximately neutral in its reaction when applied to soil.

SSP fertilizer was available in powder as well as in granular form. Its colour could be grey or brown and it contains 16 to 20% P2O5. The phosphors in this fertilizer is readily soluble.

This is a concentrated phosphorus fertilizer which contain 46% P2O5 and almost all of this phosphorus is in water soluble form.

TSP could be in powder as well as in granular form but the light grey granulated product has better storage and handling properties and is free flowing.

Sulphate of potash(SOP) 
SOP is available as a white crystalline salt or in granular form and contains 48 to 52% K2O and 18% of sulphur. It is solule in water. In Pakistan this is the only potassium fertilizer which is recommended for all crops but on a world scale its use is limited to certain crops which are sensitive to chloride i.e. tobacco, potato, fruits and vegetables.

It is also preferred in soils where chloride accumulation can be problem.

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) 
This fertilizer contains 18% N and 46% P2O5 , It is a readily water soluble fertilizer and both nutrients in this source are in plant available form. The material is light brown, granular and free flowing.

It leaves acidic effect in soil after nitrification of ammonium (NH4+). No deleterious impact on soil and crop has been reported due to its use. However, its direct contact with seed and germinating seedlings should be avoided as ammonia may cause injury.

These fertilizers are also called ammonium nitrate phosphates. In Pakistan, it is called nitrophos and contains 23% and 23% P2O5 . Half the N is in ammoniacal form and the other half is in nitrate form.

The water solubility of phosphorus in 23-23-0 grade is normally more than 70 per cent.

By Mohammad Hussain Khan

Wheat to be cultivated over 8,781.6 thousand hectares

ISLAMABAD : Wheat, a major staple food and cash crop of the country, would be cultivated over 8,781.6 thousand hectares of land across crop producing areas of the country during Rabi season 2018-19 in order to produce about 25.572 million tons of grains for fulfilling the domestic requirements as well as to exports. In this regard, all the provinces including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir had been assigned a task to ensure the availability of all inputs in order to achieve areas and production targets fixed for the current sowing season, a senior official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Tuesday said. Talking to APP, he said, in Punjab, wheat crop to be cultivated over 6,474.9 thousand hectares as against the 6,637.0 thousand hectares fixed for the last year, adding that the crop production targets were fixed at 19.500 million tons during current season as compared targets of 20.00 million tons fixed during the last season.

Meanwhile, the production targets for Sindh was fixed at 3.800 million tons by cultivating the crop over an 1,150 thousand hectares and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa wheat crop would be cultivated over 756.7 thousand hectares to produce 1.362 million tons as compared the area of 757.6 thousand hectares of same period of last year, he added.

He further informed that wheat crop would be cultivated over 400 thousand hectares as against the same area of last year to produce about 900,000 metric tons of the commodity during Rabi season 2018-19.

He said country had harvested bumper wheat crop during last season, despite that the sowing had witnessed 1.8 percent decrease in the area under wheat production, adding that wheat production was increased by 3.67 percent as compared the same period of  last year.

It is worth mentioning here that wheat exports from the country had registered tremendous increase as during last three months of current financial year  about 437,832 metric tons of wheat valuing US$ 92.781 million were exported as compared the exports of 173 metric tons costing US$ 1.555 million of same period of last year.

Principles and Practices of Seed Production

Flowering is a prerequisite for seed production. It starts after floral induction which provokes a meristem to start flower bud formation (also referred to as flower initiation) after certain internal or external signals. Plant age or size and more specifically endogenous level of certain hormones are considered as internal cues; while, length of day/night and low temperature are external signals. These external stimuli allow synchronized flowering in a population at optimal time during a year to ensure successful pollination and seed setting before inclement weather conditions. In some conditions, two different developmental signals are required in succession, such as, two different photoperiods or low temperature treatment (vernalization), followed by certain photoperiod. Vegetables and flowering annuals vary in their vernalization and/or photoperiodic requirements to pass from juvenile (vegetative) phase to reproductive phase, which is a transitional process. For some species, vernalization (exposure to low temperature) is obligatory for flower induction and differentiation. These species are biennial and cannot start flowering without completion of their vernalization for examples, crucifers (cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, kale, and kohlrabi), carrot (European types), onion, red beet, parsnip, celery and lilium (Lilium logiflorum). In such species, vernalization and day length synergistically promote floral induction. Some obligate species such as celery, globe artichoke, and carrot, require short days during vernalization for floral induction and long days after vernalization (during flower differentiation). While, some other species have facultative vernalization requirement and cold exposure is required just for flower induction and flower differentiation, and bolting is regulated by long days. In facultative vernalization requiring species, long days also compensate for unstable vernalization due to very short exposure to cold temperature. Examples of facultative species are leek, broccoli, radish, spinach, lettuce, and peas.
Usually, a temperature of 0–5°C is required to fulfill vernalization requirements of several crops. Higher vernalization temperature can results in delayed, incomplete and/or poor flowering, even de-vernalization in some species. However, summer cauliflower and broccoli can flower at 20-30°C without vernalization. Onion requires 2-13°C, temperate types vernalize at low temperature, while tropical types can vernalize at 9-13°C. Several vegetables and herbaceous (annual flowers) species respond to vernalizing temperature at certain developmental stage. Most of the crucifers can be vernalized when stem diameter is 10-15 mm. Carrot, onion, cauliflower, cabbage, coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora), gaillardia (Gaillardia × grandiflora), rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida) and tobacco must have 8-12, 4-7, 4-12, 4-15, 8, 16, 10, 37 leaves, respectively, to respond to vernalization temperature.
Seeds of some crops, if exposed to low temperature during imbibition, can be vernalized, for example lettuce, turnip, spinach, Chinese cabbage, red beet, and white mustard (Sinapis alba L.). Exposure of ripening beetroot seeds (on the mother plant) to low temperature can also reduce the vernalization requirements. Moreover, vernalization requirement (duration of exposure to low temperature) of various cultivars of a crop are different. Therefore, sowing time should be adjusted according to the vernalization requirements i.e. cultivars requiring prolonged exposure should be planted earlier than those requiring short exposure time.
Vernalization response is common in winter annuals and biennials. Summer vegetable crops and summer annuals (flowers) usually require long days. Cucurbits are long day plants but, long days and high temperature promote production of staminate flowers and mild temperature and relatively short days promote gynoecy (femaleness). Flowering in short day plants, the native of low latitude on both sides of the equator, starts when day length is less than a particular critical time. Amaranth (African spinach), chrysanthemum, and poinsettia are short day plants.
Some vegetables like eggplant, tomato, cucumber and watermelon do not have specific day length requirement for flower initiation. Although cucumber is day insensitive but, long days promotes maleness and short days favour gynoecy (femaleness). Similarly, Asiatic carrot cultivars under long day conditions behave as annual and do not require vernalization temperature. In some crops, such as radish, cultivars without vernalization and specific day length requirement flower earlier when grown under long day conditions. So, for successful seed production, one must be familiar with photoperiod and low temperature requirements of crop(s). Other components of climate, such as irradiance and precipitation, also have significant role in flowering. Length of juvenile period can be reduced in pelargonium (Pelargonium × hortorum) by increasing the irradiance, through supplemental lighting or by providing growth promoting conditions (Armitage and Tsujita 1979). 

Among other climatic requirements of flowering and seed setting is the prevalence of suitable temperature and absence of rainfall during flowering. Continuous rainfall during flowering can wash out stigmatic fluid and suppress anther dehiscence. High as well as low temperature can result in slow growth of pollen tube and/or embryo abortion. Increase in average daily temperature reduces number of flowers per inflorescence, e.g., in Pelargonium spp. Temperature during seed maturation can also affect germination. Some seeds have higher germinability when matured under higher temperature, while others showed more germination when matured at lower temperature. This effect is due to pre-conditioning effect of high or low temperature on seed development.

Comparative Effects of Salicylic Acid and Calcium Carbide on Some Morphological and Physiological Parameters of Sweet Pepper

Calcium carbide (CaC2) has occupied an important position among different sources of ethylene (C2H4) for improving growth and yield of vegetables. Calcium carbide dependent C2H4 can cause noteworthy improvements in growth, yield and fruit quality of vegetables but its effect on physiological and morphological parameters of vegetables is completely concentration dependent. Under critical environmental conditions, an abrupt release of C2H4 from CaC2 can impede growth and yield of a crop as it initiates leaf, flower and fruit senescence and finally great loss of yields. However, CaC2 dependent released C2H4 can be more constructive and worthwhile for non-conventional production of vegetables if it is applied along with salicylic acid (SA). Salicylic acid not only impedes C2H4 biosynthesis but also plays a crucial role in plant physiology as a stress hormone. As comparative effects of C2H4 released from CaC2 and SA are not thoroughly investigated particularly for production of vegetables with improved quality, therefore, a series of laboratory, pot and field studies were conducted to scrutinize the effectiveness of CaC2 dependent C2H4 with and without application of SA for seed germination, physiological, morphological, yield and quality parameters of sweet pepper. Experiments were conducted in three sections. Section I, II and III consisted of four laboratory, three wire-house/pot and two field experiments, respectively. From first experiment of section-I, polyethylene and paint were selected as the most effective materials for coating CaC2. In second experiment of section-I, it was observed that CaC2 up to 14 mg plate-1 induced early seed germination with 100% germination rate and better seedling growth parameters but application of CaC2 ˃16 mg plate-1 inhibited seed germination and seedling growth parameters of sweet pepper. Similarly, results of third experiment of section-I revealed that SA concentration ≤0.4 mM can be used to improve germination percentage and seedling vigor of sweet pepper. In last experiment of section-I, it was noted that SA alleviated injurious effects of CaC2 with ˃16 mg plate-1 on seed germination and seedling growth parameters. In section-II, data revealed that 20 mg CaC2 kg-1 soil while 0.3 mM SA can be used for maximization of sweet pepper productivity. In last pot trial, effect of CaC2 with and without SA was investigated on growth, yield and fruit quality of sweet pepper under salinity stress. It was observed that detrimental effects of excessive C2H4 from CaC2 on physiology, photosynthesis, growth and yield of sweet pepper were mitigated by the foliar application of SA under saline conditions. On the basis of preliminary trials of section I and II, two field experiments were conducted on two different locations (section-III). Results of both field experiments showed that application of CaC2 along with foliar application of SA improved photosynthetic activity by 7-77%, plant water use and carboxylation efficiency by 10-211%, antioxidant and enzyme activities by 15-53% and finally fruit yield by 5-34% with a significant increase in fertilizer use efficiency compared to that of plants without SA and CaC2 application (control). Additionally, quality parameters related to chemical composition of sweet pepper fruits were also improved by the application of CaC2 with foliar application of SA. These parameters are very much required for improvement in shelf life. In short, results confirm the synergistic role of SA and CaC2 for improving physiology, growth, yield and quality of sweet pepper. Our results suggest that application of 200 mg plant-1 polyethylene coated CaC2 with foliar application 0.1 or 0.3 mM SA is relatively more economically beneficial and effective than application of 200 mg plant-1 polyethylene coated CaC2 without foliar application of SA. Moreover, results also indicated that SA treated plants were tolerated abrupt release of C2H4 from applied CaC2 to a greater extent.

This is an abstract of thesis of Dr.   AHMED, WAZIR for complete thesis please visit http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789//7063

Evaluating the maize productivity under different irrigation and nutrient management practices

Pakistan is water stressed country in which agriculture is major consumer of fresh water supplies. The competition among agriculture, industry and domestic use leads us to acquire alternate source for crop production. However, the quality of alternate water source may result in deterioration of soil in general, particularly crops for human and animal consumption. The objective of present study was to evaluate the use of canal, domestic and municipal wastewater along with press mud application as alternate and improved farm management practices for sustainable food production. To explore the impact of wastewater and press mud on maize, one pot and two field experiments were conducted. The irrigation sources used in the study were municipal wastewater, domestic wastewater and canal water. While the nutrient sources were press mud and inorganic fertilizers. In the pot study different combinations of water qualities and nutrient sources were studied. The results showed that wastewater had adverse effects on the emergence parameters, whereas, press mud mitigated these effects. Seedling growth was good with more plant length and dry weight with municipal wastewater along with press mud followed by the domestic wastewater with press mud. Among the field experiments in first experiment, effect of press mud application under different irrigation waters (municipal wastewater, domestic wastewater and canal water) in comparison with inorganic fertilizers on yield and quality of hybrid maize was studied. In second field experiment, productivity of hybrid maize was tested under different irrigation treatments (T1=canal water, T2=domestic wastewater, T3=municipal wastewater, T4=alternate canal-domestic-canal, T5=alternate canal-municipal-canal, T6=mixed canal & domestic and T7=mixed canal & municipal). All the agronomic traits, plant height (cm), cob diameter, number of grain rows per cob, number of grains per cob, 1000-grain weight (g), biological yield (t ha-1) and grain yield (t ha-1) gave higher values with an increase of 22-27 % in grain yield under municipal wastewater irrigation with press mud in the first experiment over both the years. In second experiment municipal wastewater was best with statistically similar or followed by mixed canal & municipal and alternate canal-municipal-canal regarding the growth and yield components and the highest yield in both the years 2012 and 2013. Municipal wastewater irrigation along with press mud in first field experiment while, municipal wastewater as such or mixed with canal water significantly gave higher seed oil content (%), seed starch content (%) and seed protein content (%) in both the years of study. Seed heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Ni, Cu and Zn) contents were found to be within the limits proposed by international food quality standards in maize under all treatments.

This is an abstract of PhD thesis of  DILDAR KHAN, RANA and taken from hec website you can view complete thesis at http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789/7652

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Allelopathy and its Implications for Weed Management and Rhizosphere Ecology

Studies were carried out to evaluate the allelopathic potential of four hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars (Millat-2011, AARI-2011, Lasani-2008 and Faisalabad-2008) at different growth stages tillering (Z30), anthesis (Z60) and maturity (Z90). The objectives were to ascertain wheat allelopathic potential to suppress emergence and establishment of important grassy and broad-leaved weed species and characterize soil microbial dynamics and enzyme activities under wheat allelopathy. The overall goal was to characterize the variability in wheat allelopathic potential with respect to plant age, cultivar-specific differences, and relevance to soil functional diversity. One field experiment and four wire-house experiments were carried out at the Student Research Area, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. Field Experiments: The soil at the experimental site belongs to the Lyallpur Soil Series (USDA classification-Aridisol-fine-silty, mixed, hyperthermic Ustalfic, Haplargid; FAO classification -Haplic Yermosols). Wheat cultivars were sown in 4 m × 10 m field plots, and were maintained either weedy or weed free. Fallow plots (without wheat) were used as a control. Trials were laid out in randomized complete block design with four replications. Data were collected on crop growth, weed density and dry biomass, soil chemical and biological properties. Herbage of wheat cultivars was collected at tillering, anthesis and maturity for biochemical analysis. Weed densities were significantly lower in plots sown with wheat than in control plots. Floristic composition of weeds varied significantly among wheat cultivars and between years. A total of seven broad leaf (swine cress, lambsquarters, blue pimpernel, field bind weed, sweet clover, fathen, fumitory and broadleaf dock), three grassy weeds (canarygrass, and bermudagrass) and one sedge (purple nutsedge) belonging to seven distinct families (Poaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Brassicaceae, Primulaceae, Cyperaceae, Fabaceae and Convolvulaceae) were identified. Summed dominance ratios of the weeds were in the order: swine cress > lambsquarters > blue pimpernel > canarygrass > field bind weed > purple nutsedge > sweet clover during 2011-12, and swine cress > blue pimpernel > lambsquarters > canarygrass > field bind weed > purple nutsedge > sweet clover during 2012-13. Summed dominance ratios changed during the growing season due mainly to variation in emergence timing of different weeds; sweet clover emerged at 60 days after sowing (DAS) and broadleaf dock at 75 DAS during 2011-12. Sweet clover and broadleaf dock were identified at 45 and 60 DAS during 2012-13, although during 2011-12, these weeds were absent at these times. Total weed dry biomass at 45 DAS ranged from 0.81-1.39 g m-2 during 2011-12 and 0.45-0.83 g m-2 during 2012-13 in plots sown with wheat compared to 13.02 g m-2 and 2.78 g m-2 in fallow plots, for respective years. At 105 DAS, total weed dry biomass was significantly lower (4.96-14.13 g m-2 and 5.02-6.11 g m-2) in wheat-sown plots than fallow plots (109.38 and 183.24 g m-2) during 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively. HPLC profile of allelochemicals revealed that wheat herbage contained eight compounds: gallic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid, vanillic acid, protocatechuic acid, p-coumaric acid and benzoic acid. Concentrations of these allelochemicals varied among wheat cultivars and with stage of growth. Concentration of total allelochemicals in 2 wheat cultivars was in order: AARI-2011 > Lasani-2008 > Millat-2008 > Faisalabad-2008, and for growth stages the order was maturity > anthesis > tillering. Higher total phenolic content was recorded in field soil collected at maturity stage of wheat than at tillering and anthesis stages. During the two growing seasons maximum phenolic content (51.73-60.23 mg g-1 soil) were recorded for soil from AARI-2011 plots as compared to fallow (control; 18.09-14.59 mg g-1 soil) respectively. HPLC analysis of wheat-amended rhizosphere soil showed that concentrations of root-exuded, phytotoxic compounds varied with cultivars and the stage of growth of wheat. The overall concentration of allelopathic compounds in rhizosphere soil collected at tillering stage was in order: ferulic acid > benzoic acid > p-hydroxamic acid > gallic acid, at anthesis stage p-hydroxamic acid > ferulic acid > vanillic acid > benzoic acid > p-coumaric acid > syringic acid > protocatechuic acid. However, at maturity the order was p-hydroxamic acid > ferulic acid > benzoic acid > protocatechuic acid > syringic acid > vanillic acid > p-coumaric acid. Maximum invertase, dehydrogenase, cellulase, and phosphatase activities in rhizosphere soil of all wheat cultivars were recorded at anthesis and maturity as compared to tillering. These activities manifested a temporal increase as soil microbial activity, microbial-carbon and -nitrogen increased at the later growth stages (anthesis and maturity). Pot Experiments: Dried herbage was incorporated at 8 g kg-1 soil in plastic pots (10 cm × 26 cm). Control treatment was comprised of soil without herbage. At 7 days after incorporation of herbage, 20 seeds each of canarygrass (Phalaris minor Retz.) and common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) were sown in each pot including control pots (without herbage). Separate experiments were carried out for both the test species. A similar but separate (blank) experiment was set wherein no weed species was grown, to explore the decomposition pattern of wheat herbage and its impact on activities of soil microorganisms and extracellular enzymes. The release of phytotoxic compounds was quantified over a 6-week incubation period. In another set of experiment, leachates were collected from wheat-sown and control pots (soil without wheat). These leachates were used in another set of pot experiment wherein canarygrass and lambsquarters were sown. A separate pot experiment was conducted to appraise the interference potential of wheat cultivars on emergence and seedling growth of test weed species (canarygrass and lambsquarters). For this purpose, wheat cultivars and test species were sown in 1:1 ratio in plastic pots. Control pots contained only one seed type (either of wheat or weed seed). Allelopathic potential against the weed species was evaluated on the basis of seed germination and seedling growth; and biochemical and antioxidant enzyme analyses were carried out to understand the basis for possible allelopathic interference. To have an insight into rhizosphere ecology analyses of microbial abundance (population of bacteria and fungi, soil-microbial-biomass-carbon and -nitrogen) and analysis of extracellular enzymes (cellulase, urease, invertase, dehydrogenase, phosphatase, and polyphenol oxidase) were performed. All pot experiments were conducted using completely randomized designs with four replications. Experiment-I A: Incorporation of herbage collected at anthesis and maturity stages of wheat cultivars AARI-2011 and Lasani-2008 prolonged mean emergence time of canarygrass to greater than the control. Final emergence percentage dropped by 13-31% in response to soil incorporation of herbage collected at different growth stages. Maximum suppression of shoot (33-51% and 28-53%) and root (34-52% and 28-54%) lengths and seedling dry biomass (66- 3 88% and 58-86%) of canarygrass over control was also observed with the aforementioned treatment combinations. Total chlorophyll content declined where herbage collected at anthesis and maturity stages of all wheat cultivars was incorporated into soil, but phenolic content was higher than with the control where herbage collected at tillering was applied. Activities of enzyme antioxidants also varied among wheat cultivars, and declined with the incorporation of herbage collected at anthesis and maturity but were enhanced by tillering stage herbage compared with the control. Wheat herbage induced lipid peroxidation in canarygrass seedling. Higher malondialdehyde (MDA) content (1.28 and
1.14 nmol g-1 FW) was observed by the incorporation of herbage of wheat cultivars AARI-2011 and Lasani-2008, respectively. Anthesis- and maturity-stage herbage of AARI-2011 and Lasani-2008 was more phytotoxic than that of Millat-2011 and Faisalabad-2008. Moreover, herbage of all wheat cultivars collected at tillering stage had a stimulatory effect on emergence, seedling growth and biochemical attributes of canarygrass. Experiment-I B: Mean emergence time (MET) of lambsquarters was prolonged over control with herbage of all wheat cultivars collected at anthesis and maturity stages. Final emergence percentage dropped by 3-17% in response to herbage collected at different growth stages. Maximum suppression of shoot (45 and 78%) and root (60 and 90%) lengths, and seedling dry biomass (65 and 96%) of lambsquarters over control was recorded in response to amendment with herbage collected at anthesis and maturity stages of wheat. Total chlorophyll content declined to lower than the control in response to incorporation of herbage from all wheat cultivars collected at anthesis and maturity stages. Phenolic content, on the other hand, increased. Activities of enzyme antioxidants extracted from lambsquarters varied with wheat cultivar and declined with the incorporation of herbage collected at tillering, anthesis and maturity stages. Wheat herbage induced lipid peroxidation in lambsquarters seedlings, and higher MDA content (0.56 and 0.77 nmol g-1 FW) was observed with the incorporation of herbage collected at anthesis and maturity stages, respectively. Herbage of Millat-2011, AARI-2011 and Lasani-2008 collected at anthesis and maturity stages was more phytotoxic than that of Faisalabad-2008 collected at the same stages. Moreover, herbage of all wheat cultivars collected at tillering stage only mildly inhibited emergence, seedling growth and biochemical attributes of lambsquarters. Experiment-II: Wheat herbage amendment increased soil pH, phenolic content, organic-carbon and -nitrogen content compared to nonamended soil. Total carbon, total nitrogen, total soluble phenolic content, and saturated and unsaturated fatty acids were significantly different in soil amended with wheat herbage collected different growth stages. Maximum total carbon and nitrogen were observed for herbage collected at anthesis and maturity stages compared to herbage collected at tillering. Both of the organic-carbon and -matter significantly increased with progression in incubation time where wheat herbage was incorporated into soil; whereas these soil components declined in nonamended soil. Analysis of herbage-amended-soil during different incubation periods showed that microbial population, and activities of extracellular enzymes (urease, invertase, dehydrogenase, and phosphatase) increase during the six-week incubation period. All these activities were higher in the soil amended with herbage of Millat-2011 and AARI-2011 collected at anthesis and maturity stages than with those of Lasani-2008 and Faisalabad-2008 collected at same growth stages. The concentrations of phytotoxic compounds from decomposing wheat 4 herbage also differed with cultivar, stage of growth at which herbage was collected, and the incubation period. HPLC analysis of soil extracts from soil amended with wheat herbage showed that they contained eight phytotoxic compounds gallic acid, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, syringic acid, ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid, vanillic acid, protocatechuic acid and benzoic acid the concentrations of which were dependent on growth stage and the duration of herbage incubation in the soil. Experiment-III A & B: Application of leachates from herbage-amended soil affected emergence dynamics of both canarygrass and lambsquarters seedlings in a cultivar-dependent manner compared to the control. Leachate from AARI-2011-amended soil significantly reduced the final emergence (14 and 23%) and seedling dry biomass (36 and 64%) of both canarygrass and lambsquarters, respectively, compared to the control. Application of leachates from soil amended with AARI-2011 and Lasani-2008 herbage significantly reduced the protein content of canarygrass (48-53%) and lambsquarters (90-92%). Catalase and peroxidase activities of canarygrass (272% and 45%) and lambsquarters (83 and 82%) also declined under the influence of leachates from AARI-2011-amended soil compared to the control. Reduced superoxide dismutase activities were recorded with the application of leachates from soils amended with all wheat cultivars compared to control for both weed species. Application of root leachates significantly influenced the populations of soil bacteria and fungi compared to control. Maximum increases in microbial populations and soil enzymatic activities were recorded under the influence of root leachates from AARI-2011-amended soil in both canarygrass and lambsquarters sown pots. Experiment-IVA & B: None of the wheat cultivars showed reduction in emergence and seedling growth in response to interference by canarygrass and lambsquarters when grown in a 1:1 ratio. Emergence index and final emergence of canarygrass were inhibited by 25 and 21%, respectively, when grown with wheat cultivars. Similar results were recorded for lambsquarters. Reduction in shoot length (39%) and seedling dry biomass (79%) of canarygrass occurred due to interference of wheat cultivars compared with the control. Shoot and root lengths of lambsquarters were significantly reduced (43% and 48%, respectively) compared to the control. Interference of wheat cultivars reduced the seedling dry biomass of lambsquarters by 49%. The highest reduction was recorded with AARI-2011. It can be concluded from the results of the present investigations that wheat demonstrated allelopathic potential that varied with cultivar as well as growth stage. Wheat cultivars AARI-2011, Millat-2011 and Lasani-2008 were more allelopathic at anthesis and maturity stages than at tillering stage. Wheat cultivars and the stage of crop growth resulted in modifications in rhizosphere microbial communities that may be due to the release of allelochemicals during the herbage decomposition process. Phenolic content of herbage increased with advancement in stage of wheat growth, which was also evident in soil amended with such herbage. The information generated provides evidence in support of soil incorporation of herbage of specific wheat cultivars to manage weeds of economic significance in wheat-based cropping systems and for increasing soil quality.

This is abstract of PhD thesis of FARHENA for complete thesis visit http://prr.hec.gov.pk/jspui/handle/123456789/7061

Forage productivity, silage characteristics and digestion kinetics of cereal-legumes mixture under different tillage systems and varying row and seed ratios

In many parts of world intercropping of legumes and non-legumes is considered very important practice. When legumes is grown in mixture with non- legumes they contribute well to non- legume crop for nitrogen. To investigate the forage potential and characteristics of silage of cereal-legume intercropping under various planting ratios and different tillage systems the study was conducted during spring season 2013 and 2014, which was comprised of two experiments each experiment consist of three parts Field trial, Laboratory scale silage and In situ digestion kinetics trial. Field trials were conducted at Agronomic Research Area, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan. The tillage practices and row ratios in first experiment were minimum tillage; one ploughing with cultivator followed by planking; deep tillage; one ploughing with chisel plough + one ploughing with cultivator followed by planking; and row ratios sole sorghum, sole millet, sole sesbania, sorghum + sesbania(1:1), sorghum + sesbania(1:2), sorghum + sesbania(2:1), millet + sesbania(1:1), millet + sesbania(1:2), millet + sesbania(2:1). The tillage practices and seed ratios for second experiment were include minimum tillage; one ploughing with cultivator followed by planking; deep tillage; one ploughing with chisel plough + one ploughing with cultivator followed by planking; and seed ratios sole maize, sole cowpea, maize + cowpea (60% + 40%), maize + cowpea (70% + 30%), maize + cowpea (80% + 20%). Field trials of both experiments were laid out in randomized complete block design having split plot arrangement with three replications. In both experiments tillage practices significantly affected the growth and yield of forage. Results showed that the deep tillage practice significantly increased the emergence count, plant height, number of leaves per plant fresh and dry weight per plant, fresh forage yield and dry matter yield while it has little effect on the quality of cereal-legume mixed forage. In both experiments intercropping ratios significantly affected the growth, yield and quality of forage. In first experiment cereals sown in mixture with sesbania with different row ratios, sorghum sown alone produced significantly higher fresh forage yield and dry matter yield than all other row ratios of cereals in combination with sesbania. Minimum fresh forage yield and dry matter yield was observed in sole sesbania during both years of study. All cereal + sesbania mixture produced higher crude protein percentage, ash contents and lower crude fiber percentage than sole cereals. Land equivalent ratio (LER) was highest in sorghum + sesbania (1:1) row ratio. In second experiment maize sown in mixture with cowpea with different seed ratios, maize sown alone produced significantly higher fresh forage yield and dry matter yield than all other seed ratios of maize in combination with cowpea. Minimum fresh forage yield and dry matter yield was observed in sole cowpea during both years of study. All maize + cowpea mixture produced higher crude protein percentage, ash contents and lower crude fiber percentage than sole maize. Land equivalent ratio was highest in maize + cowpea (70% + 30%) seed ratio. Silage quality increased with increased in concentration of legumes crop in forage mixture as compared to sole cereal crop silage which resulted in an increase in dry matter (DM) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) degradability in rumen of cannulated buffalo bulls.

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Role of Zinc Solubilizing Bacteria in Plant Growth and Human Health

Muhammad Zahaib Ilyas, Dr. Zubair Aslam, Tahir Mushtaq, M. Saeed Ahmad and Ahmad Ali

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

Approximately 1/3 of total world’s population has become victim of Zn malnutrition which poses serious health hazards to human and causes thousands of deaths, annually. 37% population of Pakistan is suffering from Zn malnutrition. In Pakistan, micronutrient deficiency in plants is due to arid to semiarid climate, high temperature and alkaline soils with low organic matter. Some other reasons for the malnutrition of micronutrients are use of high yielding crops, high cropping intensity, imperfect cover of crop residues and excessive use of synthetic fertilizers.

Zinc deficiency makes plant susceptible to light, fungal infections and heat. It also affects pollen formation, water uptake and transport, root development and grain yield. Specifically, in plants, zinc is involved in carbohydrate metabolism, auxin metabolism. Plants absorb zinc as divalent cation but only insignificant amount of total soil zinc is available in soil solution for plants uptake. Remaining portion of total soil zinc is in the form of insoluble compounds and minerals.

Deficiency symptoms of zinc differ among species of plants but most of the symptoms are common. Zinc is an immobile nutrient, so deficiency symptoms mainly appear on the young leaves. The newly emerging leaves are smaller with close and curling margins. Leaves turn yellow and commonly interveinal area but main veins of the leaf remain green. With the passage of time, chlorotic spots change to yellowish-brown color and necrotic spots begin to form from the edges. Zinc deficient plants have short internodes.

Nitrogenous fertilizer damages the soil, ground water and environment. The synthetic fertilizers must be substituted with natural fertilizers to conserve the environment. Organic fertilizers improve soil structure, soil health, water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, nutrient uptake efficiency and microbial population.

There are various method to alleviate zinc deficiency. Zinc fertilizers used as zinc sulfate or Zn-EDTA but their utilization impose an environmental and economical pressure and these fertilizers are converted into insoluble complex forms within 7 days of application. In various areas, intercropping and crop rotation have been used to enhance uptake of zinc by plants. Further methods are conventional breeding, transgenic approaches and genetic engineering. However, these methods are high priced, difficult and time consuming. A superior alternative to all these approaches is the use of zinc solubilizing bacteria.

In this decade, bio-fertilizers proved to be a key element of integrated nutrient management in agriculture. Zinc-solubilizing microorganisms make available zinc from different organic and inorganic pools of total soil zinc and these can be efficiently utilized to enhance zinc availability to plants. However, in the literature, few bacterial species of the genera Acinetobacter, Gluconacetobacter, Bacillus and Pseudomonas have been reported. Zn application alone or in collaboration with the biocontrol agent Pseudomonas aeruginosa notably decreased the invasion of the root knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. Species of Meloidogyne are considered as one of the most detrimental nematode pests of sugarcane, reduced the cane yield by 9– 15 t/ ha.

There are various mechanisms by which zinc solubilizing microorganisms solubilize zinc and acidification is one of those. In soil, zinc solubilizing microbes yield organic acids which sequester the zinc cation and lower the pH of closely associated soil. The anions can also enhance zinc solubility by chelating zinc. Other mechanisms include yielding of siderophore and proton, chelated ligands and oxido-reductive systems on cell membranes. Dhaked et al. (2017) revealed that the solubilization zone for zinc oxide is varied from 16mm to 6mm and maximum solubilization zone showed by isolate ZnSB-3 and minimum solubilization by ZnSB-7.

Zinc solubilizing bio-fertilizers control diseases, activate hormones, enhance crop yield as well as its quality, improve plant growth, raise photosynthetic activity, absorb residues of pesticides and heavy metal, make plant able to tolerate stresses, fulfill the requirement of zinc in the economic part of plant, reduce the use of synthetic zinc fertilizers, improve soil fertility.

Conclusion:

Soil may possess sufficient amount of zinc but, in some cases, it may not be accessible to plant because of its fixation. To avoid from this situation, zinc solubilizing bacteria should be used. These microbes provide native zinc to plant to fulfill nutritional gap (zinc deficiency) in human diet as well as saving of additional cost of production. Zinc solubilizing bio-fertilizer also conserve soil fertility and environment.

AQUACULTURE – فش فارمنگ

مچھلیوں کی افزائش دنیا بھر میں کاروبار کا ایک بڑا ذریعہ ہے۔ تالابوں، جھیلوں اور سمندر کے علاوہ بہت سی خواتین و حضرات انہیں گھروں کے اندر پال کر بھی اپنے اور اپنے خاندان کیلئے آمدنی حاصل کر رہے ہیں۔ مچھلیوں کی افزائش سے متعلق کبھی سمجھا جاتا تھا کہ اسے کرنے کیلئے بہت سرمائے اور بڑے رقبے کی ضرورت ہوگی، مگر بدلتے وقت کیساتھ سائنسی تحقیق اور معلومات میں اضافہ کی وجہ سے ایسے طریقے دریافت ہورہے ہیں جنہیں اپنا کر بہت کم سرمائے اور چھوٹی سی جگہ میں اسے شروع کیا جاسکتا ہے۔

مکمل مضمون پڑھنے کے لئے یہاں کلک کریں

AQUAPONICS ​مچھلیوں کیساتھ سبزیوں کی کاشت

چھلی اور سبزیوں کی ایک ساتھ مربوط کاشتکاری کے انتظام کو اکواپونکس کہا جاتا ہے۔ اکواپونکس میں مچھلی کے ٹینک سے غذائی اجزا سے بھرپور پانی پودوں کو زرخیز کرنے کے لئے استعمال کیا جاتا ہے۔ پودوں کی طشتری (ٹرے) یا ٹینک میں پودوں کی جڑیں پانی سے غذائی اجزاء کو نچوڑ کر پودوں کیلئے مہیا کرتی ہیں اور فائدیمند بیکٹیریا نقصاندہ مادوں جیسے امونیا کو کھاد میں تبدیل کر کے پودوں کو خوراک اور مچھلی کو صاف شدہ پانی مہیا کرتے ہیں (اور اسطرح یہ دونوں ملکر ایک بایوفلٹر کا کام کرتے ہیں)

۔ دوسرے لفظوں میں اکواپونکس میں مچھلی کے فضلہ میں موجود غذائی اجزا کو پودے اپنی خوراک کیلئے استعمال کرتے ہیں اور پانی کو صاف کرکے مچھلی کو مہیا کرتے ہیں۔ اسطرح مچھلی اور پودے ایک دوسرے کی مدد کرتے ہیں اور کم جگہ اور کم پانی استعمال کرکے ہمیں گھر بیٹھے صحت بخش، تازہ اور کیمیکل سے پاک (آرگینک) خوراک مہیا کرتے ہیں یعنی مچھلی بھی اور سبزیاں بھی۔ اکواپونکس میں آپ مچھلی کے ساتھ سلاد، ٹماٹر، مرچ، کھیرا، بینگن، بھینڈی، کریلہ، توری، پالک، ساگ، دھنیا کے علاوہ اور بہت سی سبزیاں اگاسکتے ہیں۔ اسکے علاوہ اسٹرابیری اور دوسرے پھل؛ پھول اور جڑی بوٹیاں بھی اگا سکتے ہیں۔

مکمل مضمون پڑھنے کے لئے یہاں کلک کریں