MULTAN : Wheat growers have been advised not to keep crop water stressed at delicate growth stages and must apply second water at fruit formation stage to avoid 24 per cent production loss. In a press release issued by the media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department, experts said that wheat sown after cotton, maize, sugarcane or paddy must get second water some 80 to 90 days after sowing because the crop passes through an important and delicate stage of formation of fruit within the plant. Lack of water at this stage can cut production by 24 per centt, experts said. Growers should give the last instalment of urea to the field at this stage, they added.

The late sown wheat crop should get second water some 70-80 days after sowing. However, in case of hot and dry weather or sandy land, second water should be applied some 45-55 days after sowing.

The duration between water applications should be increased in case of light rain, frosty or cloudy weather conditions.  Experts warned growers against excessive use of urea pleading that it can result in plant shedding.  Micronutrients including zinc, boron, manganese, copper and magnesium can also be applied to strengthen weaker crops after consulting agriculture extension and pest warning officials, the release concluded.