Productivity of wheat (Triticum aestivum) as influenced by zinc fertilization under semi-arid conditions of Kandahar, Afghanistan
Keywords:Foliar spray, Wheat, Zinc fertilization, ZnSO4, ZnO
A field experiment was conducted during winter (rabi) season of 2019–20, at research farm of the Afghanistan National Agricultural Sciences and Technology University (ANASTU), Kandahar, Afghanistan, in randomized complete-block design to find out the effect of zinc on growth, yield and yield-attributing characters of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Results revealed that, plant height (100.3 cm), number of tillers/m2 [346 at 60 days after sowing (DAS) and 576 at 90 DAS], leaf-area index (1.98), dry-matter production (291 g/m2 ), number of spikes/m2 (319), spikelets/spike (20.7), grains/spike (51.1) and 1,000-grain weight (52.2 g) obtained with the application of 2.5 kg Zn/ha as basal + 2 foliar sprays @ 0.5% through ZnSO4 , were significantly higher over rest of the treatments. Grain yield (4.09 tonnes/ha), straw yield (6.39 tonne/ha), biological yields (10.2 tonne/ha) and harvest index (40%) too were recorded higher under the application of 2.5 kg Zn/ha as basal + 2 foliar sprays @ 0.5% through ZnSO4. Gross returns (147.23 × 103 `/ha), net returns (103.39 × 103 `/ha) and benefit: cost ratios (3.19) were also higher with the application of 2.5 kg Zn/ha as basal + 2 foliar sprays @ 0.5% through ZnSO4 . Overall, the soil application of 2.5 kg Zn/ha as basal through ZnSO4 + 2 foliar sprays of ZnSO4 @ 0.5% was best in terms of growth, yield and profitability of wheat.
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