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benefit cost ratio, grain yield, seed rate, sowing method, water productivity
Wheat yield and water productivity can be improved by sowing on beds with balanced seed rate. The present study was conducted during rabi seasons of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 at the experimental area of Water Management Research Centre, PARS, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, to investigate three seed rates (100, 130, and 160 kg/ha) and three sowing methods (broadcasting, drill sowing, bed planting) for better yield and water productivity of wheat. It was concluded that wheat sowing under bed planting showed better results with highest plant height (92.358 cm), numbers of tillers (294.17), numbers of grains per spike (42.5), 1000 grain weight (35.338 g), grain yield (3941.8 kg/ ha) and water productivity (2.3028 kg/m3), while these parameters were observed as the lowest under broadcasting among all treatments. Moreover, wheat on beds produced 13% more yield and saved 35% water in comparison to that under broadcasting. The results regarding seed rate revealed that the highest grain yield (4,117.1 kg/ha), water productivity (1.8361 kg/m3) and numbers of tillers (297.94), but lowest numbers of grains per spike (38.833) and 1000 grain weight (34.256 g) were obtained with seed rate of 160 kg/ha. Seed rate of 100 kg/ha produced highest numbers of grains per spike (42.167) and 1000 grain weight (35.336 g) but lowest numbers of tillers (264.17), grain yield (3,360.1 kg/ha) and water productivity (1.5272 kg/m3). The economic analysis also revealed the benefits of bed planting over the other treatments with highest benefit cost ratio as 2.74 with 160 kg/ha seed rate. It is, therefore, recommended that wheat should be sown with seed rate of 160 kg/ha under bed planting for economically better yield and water productivity in the semi-arid area of Faisalabad, Pakistan.
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