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Volume 3, Issue 1      January-March, 2015

BALANCED USE OF FERTILIZERS CAN REDUCE APHID INFESTATION AND IMPROVE YIELD IN WHEAT CROP
 

Muhammad Faheem1*, Asif Sajjad2, Rana Muhammad Shafique1

1CABI Central and West Asia, Data Gunj Buksh Road, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi

2Sustainable Agriculture Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature, Pakistan

                                                           

ABSTRACT

 

Wheat aphids have attained the status of regular insect pests and cause economic losses at national level. Nutrient management can be an effective strategy in controlling cereal aphids. Little is known about how aphids respond to different doses of fertilizers under diverse agro-ecological conditions of Punjab, Pakistan. The present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of different doses of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash (N-P-K; 46-0-0, 69-0-0, 69-46-0, 69-0-25 and 69-46-25 kg/acre) fertilizers on aphid populations and yield parameters of wheat. A trial was conducted at four Adaptive Research Farms of Agriculture Extension Department located in four different agro-ecological zones of Punjab during wheat growing season of 2010-11. Schizaphis graminum was the most abundant aphid species followed by Sitobion avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi at all the four locations. Aphid populations behaved similarly at all the study sites; it was the minimum in the treatment that included nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium i.e.  69-46-25 kg/acre. Yield improved significantly in treatments with phosphorus while potash had no impact on it. Positive correlation was found between populations of aphids and their natural enemies. It suggests that balanced use of fertilizers (69-46-25 kg/acre) can significantly lower aphid infestations on wheat crop and increase its yield.

Keywords: Balanced fertilizers, cereal aphids, wheat, yield

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