Faisalabad: Farmers have been advised to adopt modern technology and proper management during wheat harvesting as it will help to save 10 percent loss of wheat yield.
A spokesman for the Agriculture Extension Department said on Wednesday that according to modern research, farmers lose about 10% of their wheat production during and after harvesting due to various reasons including non-adoption of modern technology and proper management. Therefore, farmers should adopt modern technology and evolve effective management plan before starting wheat harvesting.
He said that climate changes including premature rains have a significant effect on wheat harvest. During the harvest season, rains and winds cause severe damage to wheat crop, therefore, farmers should keep a vigilant eye on the weather forecasts in days of wheat harvesting.
He said that premature harvesting causes the grains shrink while unnecessary delay in harvesting may cause the grains to fall into the field. Farmers should harvest and thresh their wheat crops in the suitable weather conditions so that the work can be completed in less time.
He said that prior to harvesting, farmers should also arrange laborers, sickles (Darantis), threshing machines, tractors, combine harvesters, tarpaulins or plastic, trolleys, new sacks and other necessary material so that wheat could be collected from the field within minimum time and it could also be saved in case of rain.
Moving grains from the field to the house, warehouse or market after threshing is an important step and the small farmers who lack resources have to pack the grain in sacks and load it on the backs of ox carts and camels.
In this way, they move wheat from one place to another while the big farmers use trolleys and trucks for this purpose. Often the farmers use cracked old sacks for filling and handling wheat grains but these sacks keep the grains falling due to holes. Therefore, the farmers prefer to use new sacks for filling wheat preferably, he added.
The spokesman said that after getting a good yield, it is a major problem how to store this produce in the market or in the warehouse safely. In rural areas, the farmers store grains for food and seeds in almost the same place.
For this purpose, they fill the sacks with grains and put it on the bricks in the rooms or on the porches of the house or on wooden planks. When grains are stored in warehouses, various types of losses affect the quality and weight of the grains, he said, adding that in addition to birds, insects and other reptiles, high temperatures, low temperatures and climate also affect grain quality.
When temperature of the warehouse is high, the respiration process in the grain becomes faster, which increases the chances of the grain melting. Similarly, even if the moisture content in the warehouse is not balanced, the risk of wastage of grain increases. If there is no air circulation in the warehouse, the infestation of insects and microscopic organisms increases due to various factors which cause bad smell in the grain. Therefore, thoroughly clean and spray the poison solution imperative to keep warehouse free from insects and other diseases, he added.
He said that after spraying, keep the warehouse closed for two days and no one should be allowed to enter in the warehouse for 4 to 6 hours after opening. Different chemical compounds can also be used to prevent insect infestation in the warehouse whereas leaves of Neem tree can also be placed at the top and bottom of the grains as these will help in reducing the damage of diseases and insects. Grains stored in Pakistan are usually damaged by rats. For the control of rats, poison pills should be used with the recommendations of agriculture experts or staff of Agriculture Department. If the farmers will follow these factors well, they can avoid losses during wheat harvesting, threshing and storage, he added.
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