Evaluating the Effect of Zinc Application Methods on Growth and Yield of Wheat Cultivars
Muhammad Ilyas1,2*, Imran Khan2*, Muhammad Umer Chattha2, Muhammad Umair Hassan2, Muhammad Zain3, Wajid Farhad4, Sana Ullah1, Ateeq Shah5, Safeer Ahmed6, Bismillah Khan1 and Muhammad Adeel1
Zinc (Zn) deficiency is a widespread problem across the globe and it is negatively affecting the growth and productivity of the wheat crop. Therefore, a field study was conducted to determine effect of various Zn application methods on the growth and yield of wheat cultivars during the growing season 2014-2015. The study was comprised of three cultivars of wheat; Galaxy-2014, Punjab-2011 and Millat-2011 and Zn application methods; seed priming @ 0.4% Zn solution, soil application @ 40 kg ZnSO4. H2O ha-1 foliar spray @ 0.5% Zn solution at vegetative stage and combination of all three methods (seed priming, foliar and soil application) were used. The study was conducted in a randomized complete block design with a factorial arrangement having three replications. The combined application of Zn (seed priming, foliar and soil application) resulted in maximum leaf area index (LAI), crop growth rate (CGR), productive tillers (302.33 m2), spike length (8.62 cm), spikelet/spike (16.66), grains/spike (39.18), thousand grain weight (40.27 g), biological (11.42 t ha-1) and grain yield (5.12 t ha-1), whereas the minimum LAI, CGR, tillers (261.89 m2), spike length (7.74 cm), spikelet/spike (15.11), grains/spike (32.76), thousand grain weight (33.99 g), biological yield (10.55 t ha-1) and grain yield (4.35 t ha-1), were noticed in control. Among the wheat cultivars, Galaxy-2014 performed better than the Punjab-2011 and Millat-2011 in terms of growth and yield components. In conclusion, Zn application (seed priming, foliar and soil application) can be an imperative approach to improve the growth and productivity of wheat crop under semi-arid regions.