Lands of Punjab are mostly dependent on rain water for crop production. Major crops of rain-fed areas of Pakistan are wheat, maize and groundnut. . Wheat is grown over an area of 8.2 million hectare and out of this area, more than 70 % is produced in Punjab Province. Our national yield of wheat crop is 2500 kg ha-1 but average in rain fed ranges from 600-1500 kg ha-1 which is too low.
Agricultural rain-fed areas of Pakistan have many problems like moisture stress, nutrient deficiency and uneven topography. In rain-fed areas, crop growth period depends upon precipitation. To meet the water requirement for crop growth, conservation of soil moisture is key to success in rain-fed area. Moisture conservation after heavy rainfall is the major concern. Pothwar region of Pakistan is susceptible to soil and water loss due to landscape and climatic conditions.
To meet water requirement in rain-fed areas for crop production, gypsum is one of the source to conserve rainfall water. Gypsum improves soil physical and chemical conditions that enhance nutrient uptake from soil. Gypsum also supply sulfur and calcium as a nutrient to crop. It is said gypsum may increase wheat grain yield up to 30 % when it is applied in powder form @ 2 Mg ha-1 before start of moon soon season and before wheat crop sowing. Moon-soon season is strictly recommended for gypsum application because up to 70 % rainfall in Pakistan fall in moon-soon season.