ECONOMICS OF WHEAT BASED CROPPING SYSTEMS IN RAINFED AREAS OF PAKISTAN
Parvez Khaliq*, Azim Malik**, Nasir Mahmood Cheema* and Muhammad Umair***
The Pothwar tract of rainfed area has enormous potential to meet incremental food grain needs of the country. However, a significant yield gap in wheat has been reported between yields of substantive and the progressive growers mainly due to poor management of soil, water and fertility issues. A field study was conducted at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad and the traditional wheat-fallow-wheat (W-F-W) cropping system was evaluated with the improved wheat-maize fodder-wheat (W-MF-W) and wheat-mungbean-wheat (W-MB-W) cropping systems. Two tillage practices, i.e. shallow tillage with cultivator and deep tillage with moldboard; and four fertilizer treatments viz., control (C), recommended dose of fertilizer for each crop (F), farmyard manure (FYM) @ -1 5 tha . The recommended doses of fertilizer for individual crop with FYM (F+FYM) were also included in the study to know their impact on the crops yield in the cropping systems. Economic analysis of the data revealed that the traditional wheat-fallow-wheat cropping system could be economically replaced with wheat-maize fodder-wheat cropping system even under drought condition and there will be no economical loss of wheat yield when planted after maize fodder. Application of recommended dose of fertilizer -1 along with FYM @ 5 tha will enhance the yield of wheat and maize fodder. The improved cropping system of wheat-maize fodder-wheat will help the farmers to sustain productivity of these crops, stable economic benefits and improvement in soil nutrients and organic matter over time.