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Meeting the food requirements of increasing population, production of more wheat is one of the key areas for researchers. Selection of cultivar with respect to sowing time for a particular agro-ecological zone plays a vital role in the improvement of wheat productivity. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to work out the suitable sowing time for the cultivars’ high yield at the Herbarium of Malakand University, Dir (Lower), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Pakistan during 2014-15. The experiment was laid out in RCB design with split plot arrangement, replicated three times. The plot size was 4x1.75 m accommodating six rows, 25 cm apart. Five sowing dates (November 11th, 21th, December 2nd, 12th and 22nd) were applied to main plot, while ten wheat cultivars (Pak-2013, Dharabi-2011, Tatara, Lalma, Chakwal-50, Shahkar-2013, Pirsabak-2005, Hashim-2008, KT-2000 and Siran-2010) were allotted to sub plot. More productive tillers m-2, taller plants, longer spikes, more spikelets spike-1, grains spike-1 maximum biological and grain yield were recorded for the plots sown on 11th November and linear decrease was recorded with delay in sowing. Among different cultivars higher number of productive tillers m-2 and taller plants were observed in Hashim-2008, while more spikelets spike-1, grains spike-1 and biological and grain yield were higher for Pakistan-2013. With respect to sowing time and cultivars interaction, greater yields (3708 kg ha-1 and 3553 kg ha-1) were recorded for Pakistan-2013 sown on November 11th and 21st, followed by PS-2005 on 21st November (3553 kg ha-1) and 2nd December (3525 kg ha-1), respectively. It was concluded that early sowing in the season improved the yield and yield component of wheat crop. Wheat cultivar Pakistan-2013 was found the best in all aspects. Hence, wheat cultivar Pakistan-2013 is recommended for early sowing, while wheat cultivars Shahkar-2013 and Chakwal-50 are recommended for late sowing in the rainfed areas of Malakand division particularly Dir valley.
Keywords: Cultivars; Sowing dates; Grain yield; Rainfed; Wheat