Climatic Resilience of Wheat Comparing Modeled and Observed Crop Yield in Pothwar/East of Pakistan

By Mukhtar Ahmed, Fayyaz-ul- Hassan and M. Aslem.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The objective of this study was to validate and parameterize an Agricultural Production Systems Simulator model for explaining genotypic and environmental variations in the growth and yield of rain-fed wheat by integrating data on crops, soils and climate. Climate forecasts are being increasingly used to support decision making in agriculture based on risk management under variable climate. Improved skills in seasonal forecasting benefited agricultural management and production. To significantly improve financial profitability, economic efficiency and resource risk management of wheat based cropping systems in rain-fed areas of the Pakistan well targeted studies need to be done by applying seasonal climate forecasts and quantifying climate variability. The present study has been conducted to improve and enhance the utilization of seasonal climate forecast and crop simulation modeling in the agronomic studies to better understand wheat productivity in Pothwar Plateau in the province of Punjab. The present study was conducted from 2008 to 2010 wheat season in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad, the Barani Agriculture Research Institute Chakwal (BARI) and at farmer field Talagang. Experiments using Randomized Block Design were conducted using three wheat genotypes, five planting times (started from mid of October and extended until the beginning of December). The study emphasized on understanding the physiological and ecological aspects of wheat yield over diverse planting dates using crop simulation modeling technique as a bioinformatics tool. The aim was to better understand the wheat performance in relation to variant climate and also to use this tool for strategic management decisions. The results showed that changing sowing dates affected the adaptability patterns of wheat crop at three locations in the study area because of changes in air temperature and precipitation over the phenological stages of wheat. The planting window as a management instrument influenced biomass production and grain yield of wheat genotypes. Early sowing of wheat in Islamabad (location 1) accelerated expansion of leaf area, especially prior to stem elongation, enhanced tiller growth and resulted in good yield i.e. 4605 kilogram per hectare (kg ha-1). A similar trend was observed in planting window two with the yield potential of 4500 kg ha-1. Negative trend were observed for later planting dates. In Chakwal (location 2) highest yield was obtained in planting window one (PW1) because of availability of conserved moisture in field and due to good crop stand but trend was not negative with late sowing. Talgang being the low precipitation and high temperature area of Pothwar has shown the lowest yield. The highest was recorded in PW2 i.e. 2770 kg ha-1. The whole-process model simultaneously explained the observed genotypic and environmental variation in the dynamics of above-ground biomass growth (coefficient of determination (R2) = 0.95), LAI development (R2 = 0.82) and spikelet number per unit area (R2 = 0.83) and grain yield (R2 = 0.87).

Keywords: SOI, APSIM, Pothwar/Pakistan, Phenology, Crop Yield, Agriculture, Climate Variability

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.31-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.650MB).

Mukhtar Ahmed

Lecturer, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Rawlpindi, Pakistan

I am working on climate change and simulation modelling. My objective is to validate different simulation model under Pothwar climate so that risk management can be adopted for Pothwar. I am working in collaboration with Dr Aslem who is affiliated with Grame Hammer University of Queensland. I got degree in Agronomy and working as Lecturer in Arid University Since 2005 and my interests are teaching and research. In teaching I taught all courses related to crop ecology, physiology and Chemistry. I am a cricketer and played till Divisional level now I left this game because of death of my brother who died on 18th May 2009 due to brain tumor, he was also cricketer and mechanical engineer. Coming to reserch I want to empahsize on production and Management of resources present on this beautiful earth. God stated this thing in Quran in Surah Yousf that there will some period of production meaning good weather so man must use this to produce best and after taht there will be period of drought so humen beings have to manage this also to survive on this earth and this is also going on in the form of climate cahnge so I will be an active member of climate cahng reserch.

Fayyaz-ul- Hassan

Professor, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Crop and Food sciences, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Rawlpindi, Pakistan

Professor in Agronomy studying Agroclimatology of safflower in Pothwar. Winner of Endeavour Australian award. Completed 8 projects.

M. Aslem

Commisioner, Minor Crops, MINFA, Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan

Have a vast experience of developing, strategic planning, physical and financial administration of the research and development programmes throughout the Pakistan and also have experience to develop coordination among various national and international organizations in the execution of collaborative programmes. In these programmes/projects I have the experience to prepare various packages of technologies through research and disseminated these technologies to the farmers mobilizing through participatory approach. I also have strong communication, negotiation and inter-personal skills which helped me to publish technical papers in reputed journals, reports and also technology brochures for the farmers based on the programmes/projects. Following are the programmes/projects I have been involved in their execution. Provided consultancy as Social Coordinator/Scientist (15.8 99 to 31.5.2000) to a World Bank funded project on Fordwah Eastern Sadiqia South (FESS) Project (Drainage Component). It was a joint venture of National Development Consultants Pakistan, Euroconsult, the Netherlands and Lahmeyer International, Germany. In this consultancy work was accomplished on Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) for the rehabilitation and income generation activities of the farmers affected by the project activities. The Database of farmers affected by project was also built to identify various recommendation domains for the enhancement of farmer’s livelihood.

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